, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 23 – Controversy over the ownership of the Ruaraka land where two schools sit has deepened further after Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said the ministry does not have ownership documents.
While appearing before the Senate County Public Accounts and Investment Committee, the legislators sought to know why Sh1.5 billion compensation was paid out when it is not known if the land is private or public.
“Concerning the land ownership, we do not have the ownership instruments neither does the school. It is a matter that has been followed even by the school principal for a long time but I would not want to say more to avoid jeopardising the investigation process,” said Mohamed.
The Senators wondered how the ministry paid money for the land without confirming existence of the title deed.
“How do you even purchase land in such a manner? Who knows how many other public schools are built on private lands and it is just a matter of time we have a case such as this?” Narok Senator Ladema ole Kina questioned.
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja appealed to the CS to have a meeting with school boards and unravel the issue of land ownership where wrangles have so far been reported.
“There are several schools here in Nairobi situated on lands where ownership is under contention. Madam CS kindly visit those schools and try to solve the issue,” urged Sakaja.
Fred Matiangi who is the current Interior Cabinet Secretary was in charge of the Education docket at the time the payments were made and he has always insisted the law was followed.
The matter is under active investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, which has questioned several top officials -including Francis Mburu who claims ownership of the prime land.
The committee led by Homabay Senator Moses Kajwang’ was however, not convinced by Mohamed’s responses which they termed ‘diplomatic’ and questioned the land acquisition process used, while accusing the ministry of not following due diligence.
“We can confirm that there was no due diligence in the whole process and the way the land was acquired was so unnatural that it raises more questions,” said Kajwang’.
Mohamed’s now says her ministry is working to resolve controversies around the ownership of public schools land across the country.