, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 2 – A meeting between Dominion Farms Ltd Chief Executive Officer Calvin Burgess and a parliamentary committee failed to take place after he snubbed summons to respond to a petition.
Lands Committee Chairman Alex Mwiru was forced to call off the meeting after waiting for more than one and a half hours.
He later told parliamentary journalists that Burgess – who was expected to give his submissions to a petition regarding displacement of Yala Swamp residents – had written to the Committee through House Clerk Michael Sialai stating the he will not appear because he is a US citizen.
“We are going to meet as a committee to decide on the next step after the CEO failed to honour our summons. He had written to the committee stating that he will away in the US and further explained that he will not be appearing before us, because he is an American citizen,” the Lands Committee Chairman said.
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi last month ordered Burgess to appear before the House Committee or face unspecified consequences.
This is after Mwiru complained Burgess had ignored it since 2015.
The 200 petitioners led by Caleb Omondi Obonyo, say they were displaced from their 22,000 acres when the River Yala changed its course and by the subsequent development activities of the Lake Basin Development Authority and Dominion Farms Ltd.
Burgess recently claimed that politicians allied to CORD leader Raila Odinga were frustrating his business through extortion, violence and eviction threats.
On February 9, the Dominion Farms CEO called a news conference at a Nairobi hotel where he alleged that trouble began when he refused to fund Odinga and his ODM party, which he said would have been against US laws.
He also produced a letter he had written to the Inspector-General Joseph Boinnet and Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, claiming political leaders were invading his farm.