NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 29 – Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama and former Information Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo have been summoned by the Magistrates’ Court to face criminal charges over the controversial sale of Malili Ranch to the government for the Konza Techno City.
The two together with eight others who include former Commissioner of Lands Zablon Mabea have been summoned by Senior Principal Magistrate Peter Ndigwa to face theft and abuse of office charges on September 5.
This followed an application by Senior Counsel Paul Muite who had been mandated by the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko to independently review the Criminal Investigations Directorate’s (CID) investigation file recommending their prosecution and make an independent recommendation.
This was because Law Society of Kenya Chairman Eric Mutua had been adversely mentioned in the file yet sat in the office of DPP’s advisory board creating a conflict of interest.
“To avoid any potential conflict of interest situation, I have after serious reflection decided that the investigation file be independently reviewed and advised on by a Senior Counsel from private practice who shall be appointed in accordance to the law,” Tobiko stated on receipt of the file in April.
The CID recommended that Muthama, Ndemo, Mabea and others be charged with defrauding the government of Sh1 billion for the 5,000 acre ranch by conspiring to circumvent procurement law.
Their investigations having been based on complaints received from Malili Ranch shareholders unhappy with the sale, they said.