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Kenya

Otachi formally takes over hot land commission job from Swazuri

Lawyer Gershom Otachi when he was vetted by a National Assembly’s committee.

NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 3 – Gershom Otachi is the new Chairperson of the National Land Commission (NLC), replacing Muhamad Swazuri who left office unceremoniously with corruption cases stemming from compensation of landowners along the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Mombasa to Nairobi.

Otachi was appointed on Wednesday, in a Gazette Notice by President Uhuru Kenyatta who also named eight others as members, including former MP Esther Murugi, Kazungu Kambi (former Minister), Professor James Tuitoek, Getrude Nduku Nguku, Reginald Okumu, Hubbie Hussein Al-Haji, Alister Murimi Mutugi and former Isiolo Women Representative Tiya Galgalo who almost missed the job after MPs vetting her questioned the validity of her tax compliance certificate which was revoked by Kenya Revenue Authority and later reinstated.

Former Lands Commission Chairman Muhamad Swazuri during a court appearance over corruption. /CFM-FILE.

The appointment came a day after the National Assembly approved all the nine nominees whose names were then forwarded to President Kenyatta.

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 indicted six Kenyans alleged to have masterminded the 2007/08 post-election skirmishes that claimed 1,500 lives.
The current Solicitor General Kennedy Ogetto who was also Managing Partner at Ogetto, Otachi and Company Advocates represented President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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