NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 19 – The National Assembly’s Lands Committee will Thursday begin the vetting exercise for nominees for chairperson and members of the National Land Commission (NLC).
The nominee for NLC chairperson, Gershom Otachi, will be the first one to be grilled followed by nominees for position of member at the commission who include Esther Murugi, Gertrude Nduku, Reginald Okumu and Samuel Kambi.
Hubbie Hussein, Alister Murimi and Tiya Galgalo are due to be vetted on Friday.
Last month, President Uhuru Kenyatta nominated Otachi, a Managing Partner at a Nairobi-based law firm, as Chairperson of NLC.
Otachi was among 11 candidates shortlisted for the position of NLC Chairperson which fell vacant in February after Mohammad Swazuri’s six-year term came to an end.
Others who had been shortlisted for the job included former Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner General John Njiraini, former Institution of Surveyors of Kenya (ISK) Chairperson Mwenda Makatimo and former lawmakers Tiyah Galgalo Ali (Isiolo Woman Representative) and Humphrey Njuguna (Gatanga).
Otachi gained prominence in 2010 when he represented former Police Commissioner Major General (Rtd) Mohammed Hussein Ali at the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) after then Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announced charges against six Kenyans alleged to have masterminded the 2007/08 post-election skirmishes that claimed 1,500 lives.
In August 2018, for instance, NLC Chairperson Swazuri was arraigned at a Magistrate Court in Nairobi’s Milimani Law Courts and charged with fraud over the payment of Sh221.3 million for the irregular acquisition of five parcels of land for the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway.
Swazuri and then Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) Managing Director Atanas Maina were accused of improperly conferring benefits to three companies whose purported titles for the five pieces of land marked as railway reserve had been revoked.
NLC is currently being led by an Acting Chief Executive Office Kabale Tache.