NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17 – A Member of the National Assembly’s Committee on Lands claims suspended Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu blocked their investigations into the controversial 134-acre Karen land scandal.
Committee Vice-Chairman Moses ole Sakuda said he believes staff at the ministry were intimidated against cooperating with the House team in its efforts to uncover the scandal.
Sakuda was speaking as the National Assembly began debating the committee report in which the MPs absolved themselves from ownership of the land but said they were unable to ascertain the real owners four months after commencing investigations into the matter.
“In my own view there was a well calculated move by the CS to obstruct any investigations into this land. I say that because when the officers appeared before us they were reluctant to release any information that we required.”
While moving the Motion of the report, the committee Chairperson Alex Mwiru said the committee is recommending the EACC to carry out a comprehensive forensic audit to ascertain who owns the Sh8 billion piece of land.
Mwiru observed that claims by both Muchanga Investment and Telesource Limited as to how they received allocation of the land were suspect.
MPs Dalmas Otieno (Rongo) and Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren) disagreed with committee member John Kihagi who dismissed allegations that some MPs were involved in trying to sub-divide the land.
“The attempt to drag MPs into the matter, we saw it was supposed to make the matter more juicy; it was supposed to make the matter more newsworthy,” Kihagi told the House.
Otieno and Eseli said the committee members had not told the House anything new because they were involved in infighting and leadership wrangles.
“This report sheds more darkness that light on the matter. The only reason I would agree to adopt it, is that we are recommending that the EACC should investigate,” Eseli said.
“Just to say there was no member involved, is not entirely accurate. When you sound the alarm and there were people who were about to get benefits out of this and they were all run away, where were you expecting to get them?” Otieno posed.
During the period of investigations, the committee members were divided as some pledged allegiance to the chairman Mwiru while another faction backed vice-chairman Sakuda.
In November last year, Sakuda’s wing called a press conference after staging a ‘coup’ of their chairman through a vote of no confidence. The MPs at the time claimed that Mwiru was sabotaging the probe into Karen land saga.
This comes as the suspended Lands CS is expected to face charges Friday for obstructing EACC investigations into the land fraud.