NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 30 – National Lands Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi asking him to step in and stop the House’s Lands Committee from considering a petition for his removal.
In a letter to the Speaker from his lawyer Tom Ojienda, Swazuri has accused the committee of acting in contempt of a court order barring it from further consideration of the petition until his challenge to it is heard and determined.
“The Departmental Committee on Lands chaired by Honourable Alex Muiru has continued with its inquiry in flagrant disobedience of the court’s order. This is deliberate and is intended to create an unnecessary constitutional crisis between the two arms of government.”
Swazuri therefore wants the Speaker to step in and ensure no further action is taken on the petition advocating for his ouster.
“If the National Assembly has any reservations then it can make its representations to court on April 11.”
On Wednesday, Swazuri and his vice-chair Abigael Mbagaya appeared before the committee to respond to the concerns raised in the petition.
The petitioner, former journalist Mugo Njeru, claims that Swazuri solicited a Sh1 million bribe from him as a “facilitation fee” for the processing of Sh82.8 million in compensation for land acquired for use by the Standard Gauge Railway.
The payment, he claims, did not however make it into his coffers leading him to blow the whistle on Swazuri.
Just this month the court issued similar protection orders for the holder of another independent Constitutional office, the Auditor General Edward Ouko who is himself facing a petition seeking his ouster.