MPs take Swazuri to task over school land

Mercy Mwai @wangumarci

The saga surrounding the Sh3.3 billion compensation for a 13.8-acre school land in Ruaraka, Nairobi deepened yesterday after MPs claimed the National Land Commission (NLC) may have planned to defraud the taxpayers in the transaction.

The MPs were speaking when the NLC chair Mohamed Swazuri and other commissioners appeared before the National Assembly’s Lands committee.

They questioned Swazuri on why the management of the schools – Ruaraka High School and Drive Inn Primary School – were not informed of the acquisition and only heard about it through the media and summons by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

The committee was also shocked that NLC was not in a position to inform them who was in possession of the title deed for the land for which it has so far paid Sh1.5 billion to Afrison Limited, the company which claims ownership of the land on which the schools have been sitting for 30 years.

Led by the chairperson Rachel Nyamai (pictured), the legislators were angered by the way NLC was responding to questions regarding the matter. “It is very interesting how you have handled this matter. The school had no idea that someone was claiming compensation for the parcel.

You cannot also tell us where you conducted public inquiry for this land,” said Nyamai who is the Kitui South MP. But Swazuri said they had informed the schools about the acquisition of the land through a gazette notice, adding that it was up to the school to engage its parent ministry if it wanted additional details of the land.

Kilifi North MP Owen Baya said the commission had failed to carry out due diligence in the process and should be held responsible for the acquisition.

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