, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 25 – The Lands Committee of the National Assembly has set up a team of internal experts to look into the 138 acre Karen land scandal and submit a report next week.
Committee chairman Alex Mwiru said the five member team will comprise MPs John Kihangi (Naivasha) and George Oner (Rangwe) who according to the parliamentary website are land surveyors while Waweru Nderitu (Ndaragwa) is a land valuer having served at the Deposit Protection Fund before joining Parliament.
The team has been directed to look into a voluminous bundle of documents presented before the committee by Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu.
Shakila Abdallah (Lamu County Woman Representative) and Sarah Korere (Samburu County Woman Representative) were included in the sub-committee to create gender balance.
“We will have this sub-committee of experts to interrogate (the issues) so that we are through with this matter because we have deliberated on it for too long,” Mwiru stated.
This is after Lands CS Ngilu complained that she could not focus on her ministerial duties because the committee keeps summoning her to the House.
Ngilu has complained about the haphazard manner the House team is using to communicate with her office citing the frequency she has been required to appear before the MPs to respond to the matter.
The CS argues that the committee had gone against last week’s agreement where they decided to give her two weeks to finalise investigations over who owns the parcel of land.
“Have things changed so that I should just be waiting for a call or for some media communication? what am I to believe for now on so that I am told look out for news… look out for an SMS or look out for please call me! (emergency text service).”
A total of 14 buyers were identified and their parcels of land noted, with the committee reiterating its mission was to get to the bottom of the matter, despite the fact that the dispute is also being probed by the courts.
The complexity of the matter has seen two government organs differ over who the real owner of the land is, with the Lands Ministry indicating Telesource, a company owned by former NSSF Managing Trustee Jos Konzolo is the registered owner, while the National Land Commission identifies Horatius Da Gama Rose as the rightful owner of the property.
Da Gama Rose is represented in court by lawyer Cecil Miller, who recently secured a court order stopping any further development on the land.
Police have since taken over the Sh8 billion parcel of land following a court order stopping development from taking place.