, NAIROBI, Kenya, August 11 – National Land Commission (NLC) Chairman Muhammad Swazuri was on Saturday arrested by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) over the Sh2.8 billion Standard Gauge Railway compensation scandal.
Others detained were 7 officials from the commission and the Lands Ministry as well as the Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanas Maina who were picked up by the EACC detectives, hours after the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji approved charges against them following investigations that kicked off more than three years ago.
“The DPP has consented to charges against National Land Commission (NLC) Chair Dr Swazuri and others in relation to the SGR compensation,” Haji stated through the ODPP twitter account, leading to the arrests.
EACC CEO Halakhe Waqo told reporters that the suspects were being detained at the EACC police cells, awaiting to be charged in court on Monday.
“They are all in custody and we will take care of them until Monday when they will face various charges in court,” Waqo said.
The officials were picked up during dawn raids at their homes and driven to the EACC offices where they were being processed for court appearance.
“I have reviewed the file and I am satisfied that the persons actively participated in the perpetration of the alleged criminal activities and should therefore be charged and prosecuted,” the DPP stated.
Others to be charged are, NLC Chief Executive Officer Tom Chavangi, Caroline Nabalayo and Peter Ng’ang’a, who are both registrars of Titles at the Ministry of Lands and proprietors of three companies.
Others are NLC Valuation and Taxation Committee Director Salome Ludenyi, Finance and Administration Director Francis Karimi, Victor Wahome Kariuki who is a Land Surveyor and the Kenya Railways and his assistant Elijah Mwenda together with Senior Land Surveyor at the Lands Ministry John Mwangi.
Gladys Mwikali Muyanga who is the Principal Land Registration Officer at the Ministry of Lands, Obadiah Mbugua Wainaina, a private surveyor, David Barno Some and Esther Chebet Some will also be charged in the scam.
The proprietors of Dasahe Investment Limited, Keibukwo Investment Limited and Olomotit Estate Limited were also targeted for arrest.
EACC said it gathered sufficient evidence to prove claims of multiple compensations and false claims as shown in a report by the Auditor General.
An inquiry had been ordered after the Commission failed to respond appropriately to questions raised by MPs over the dubious payment to land owners.