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Swazuri freed on Sh12mn cash bail in land fraud case

The Anti-Corruption Court gave him an alternative surety bond of Sh 30 million/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 23 – Former National Land Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri has been released on cash bail of Sh12 million.

The Anti-Corruption Court gave him an alternative surety bond of Sh30 million.

Trial magistrate Lawrence Mugambi released the other accused persons on different cash bails depending on the number of counts they are facing.

The court ordered Emma Muthoni (Commissioner NLC) Tom Aziz Chavangi (Chief Executive Officer) Salome Ludenyi Munibi (Director, Valuation and Taxation) Francis Karimi Mugo (Finance) to place cash bails of Sh3 million each or a surety bond of Sh5 million.

Catherine Wanjiru Chege (advocate) and Michael George Onyango were given a cash bail of Sh5 million and Sh1.5 million respectively.

The court said that the prosecution had not provided sufficient reasons to warrant denial of bail.

Swazuri and his co-accused were charged with conspiracy to defraud the government of Sh109 million.

They all denied the criminal indictment and were remanded in custody since last Thursday.

Swazuri was accused of conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption between January 11, 2017 and December 5 the same year after jointly conspiring to make a fraudulent payment of Sh109,769,363.00 for purported compulsory acquisition of land reference MN/V/380 from Tomado Carriers Limited from the Kenya National Highway Authority.

The prosecution told the court that Swazuri on October 28, 2013 used his office to confer a benefit to Tomado Carriers Ltd by authorizing compulsory acquisition of the land for road development.

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The court heard in January 2017 Swazuri conferred a benefit of Sh75,268,253 to Tomado Carriers Limited by illegally approving a second valuation while knowing that an initial and final award of Sh34,501,100 had been made for compulsory acquisition.

Only 11 accused persons were arrested last Wednesday and the other 11 are still at large.

The court ordered them to present themselves to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission on Tuesday, failure to which warrants of arrest will be issued.


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