CORD says ready to back Karen land grab claims

October 19, 2014 3:59 pm
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“We hope that unlike what has been the case in the past, we haven’t just been invited as part of a public relations gimmick and that our evidence will be taken seriously,” Siaya Senator Orengo stated/FRANCIS MBATHA
“We hope that unlike what has been the case in the past, we haven’t just been invited as part of a public relations gimmick and that our evidence will be taken seriously,” Siaya Senator Orengo stated/FRANCIS MBATHA
NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 19 – Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) lawmakers have said they are prepared to appear before the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to present a dossier supporting their allegations that senior government officials had conspired to grab 134 acres of prime land in Karen.

Four of the five legislators who have been invited by the EACC to provide evidence of their allegations said they were willing and ready to so.

READ: EACC seeks out lawmakers over Karen land grab claims

Addressing the press on Sunday, Senators Johnson Muthama, James Orengo, Boni Khalwale and the National Assembly representative for Suna East, Junet Mohamed, said they would appear before the EACC on Wednesday as instructed.

“We hope that unlike what has been the case in the past, we haven’t just been invited as part of a public relations gimmick and that our evidence will be taken seriously,” Siaya Senator Orengo stated.

Kakamega Senator Khalwale however demanded that the Jubilee government in turn make public what it knows about the land saga.

“The fact that until only a few hours ago developers were on site points to only one thing: That there can be no questions as to who the beneficiaries of this land scam are because the government knows them; having subdivided, issued title deeds, approved plans for development, it knows them,” he contended.

He together with Machakos Senator Muthama and Mohamed while saying they would appear before the commission, questioned its sincerity.

“Take the date on the letter for example,” Muthama said,” it was dated October 21 but released to the media on October 18. And then how come it’s only ever CORD that’s challenged to prove its allegations. Why wasn’t the President asked to prove his accusation that CORD was behind the violence at the Coast?” he posed.

The legislators however declined to make the content of their dossier known to the public, just flashing documents briefly to the press, with the argument that it would give those behind the scam occasion to tamper with evidence.

“If we show you contents before we present them to the EACC, it will give the guilty a chance to make up a defence,” Muthama said.

The four – who were joined by Langata MP Joash Olum and Busia Women’s Representative Florence Mutua – also presented letters they claimed CORD had written to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and EACC on Friday asking them to investigate the intrigues surrounding the 134-acres of Karen land.

State House had on Saturday released its own statement regarding the saga asking that the relevant investigating authorities be allowed to carry out their work and for an end to speculation.

The land in Karen valued at approximately Sh8 billion is the subject of a court case filed by businessman Horatious Da Gama Rose.

Da Gama Rose claims that he is the rightful owner of the land having purchased it in 1982 through Barclays Bank and not Telesource as indicated in land records.

Da Gama Rose is admitted to a hospital in London and is represented in the case by lawyer Cecil Miller.

Telesource is linked to former NSSF Managing Trustee Jos Konzolo and he has in turn been accused of subdividing the said land to Jubilee Members of Parliament in collusion with high ranking government officials.

Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu on Friday however denied knowledge of any underhand dealings and changed records in her ministry, and asked that the EACC be allowed to conduct investigations.

READ: Ngilu takes on CORD over Karen land grab claims

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