, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 5 – Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama, former Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo, ex-Commissioner of Lands Zablon Mabea and National Police Service Commissioner Ronald Musengi, who is also the late George Saitoti’s brother, were charged together with two others on Friday over the controversial purchase of the 5,000-acre Malili Ranch by the government for the Konza Tech City.
The four together with Julius Kilonzo Maweu and Julius Mbau Nzyuko were charged with stealing Sh179,134,070 from the government in the land deal.
They were also charged with conspiracy to commit a felony.
“On diverse dates between the 17th day of June 2009 and January 11, 2010 at Machakos/Nairobi counties within the Republic of Kenya, jointly with others not before this court conspired to commit a felony namely stealing a sum of Sh179,134,070 being the sale proceeds of 5,000 acres of land that was sold to the Government of Kenya (Ministry of Information and Communication) the property of individual shareholders of Malili Ranch Ltd.”
Ndemo was charged with three additional counts of signing the purchase agreement whilst aware that the tender was awarded by the Ministerial Tender Committee without being subjected to financial evaluation, failing to appoint an evaluation committee to undertake a technical and financial evaluation and abuse of public office for:
“Approving purchase of 5,000 acres of land from the same company, the same being 2,000 acres valued at Sh400 million more than the initial acreage of land notified to other bidders during the tender advertisement of January 21, 2009 by the Ministry of Information and Communication,” the charge sheet reads.
He pleaded, “not true,” to all the counts of willfully failing to comply with the law relating to procurement.
Musengi was also additionally charged with obtaining Sh40 million from Erick Kyalo Mutua by, “falsely pretending that his company namely Gateway Logistic acted as a sales agent between Malili Ranch Ltd and the Government of Kenya.”
He too pleaded not guilty, as did all his co-accused, to all the charges.
After taking their pleas, the accused were granted Sh1.5 million cash bail each by Chief Magistrate Doreen Mulekyo.
They will now appear before the Court for the compulsory two week mention on September 19 before another mention on December 10 to settle on dates for the hearing.