‘Powerful forces’ blocking Sh3.2b school land payout

Mercy Mwai @wangumarci

The controversy surrounding the payments for land in which two city schools sit has taken a fresh twist after the landowner accused politicians and senior government officials of blocking his compensation.

In a sworn affidavit, Francis Mburu Mungai also accused the government of trespassing on his land for more than 28 years.

He said the government illegally cordoned off the 96-acre land allegedly to develop housing units for General Service Unit (GSU) officers, a project yet to materialise. The land includes 37 acres hosting GSU headquarters and 13.5 acres occupied by Ruraka Secondary and Drive Inn Primary schools.

The remaining land was affected by the expansion of Outering Road, chief camp project and the rest encroached by squatters. Mungai, who is the owner and director of Afrison Export Import Limited and Huelands Limited benefiting from Sh3.2 billion compensation, yesterday said land grabbers have been blocking attempts to have the firms compensated.

The issue came to light when a parliamentary committee put Education ministry and the National Land Commission in the spotlight over the payment of Sh1.5 billion to Afrison for land occupied by the two public schools.

The payment was part of Sh3 billion budgeted for the purchase of the 13.5-acre landHe said the politicians and grabbers have subjected him trauma, ridicule and psychological torture. “

The said grabbers are highly placed in the government and others are influential business people,” read the affidavit tabled before National Assemblies Departmental Committee on Lands which is investigating the matter. Mburu said he was not happy with the “low” compensation of Sh3.2b for the schools’ land.

But the committee chaired by Kitui South MP Rachael Nyamai accused Afrison Export and Huelands directors of frustrating the probe following failure by Mungai to appear in person.

MPs declined to address his lawyers and issued him fresh summonses alongside other directors Mark Mungai Mburu and Justin Mungai Mburu to appear before them tomorrow.

“You are engaging in delay strategy so that we don’t get anywhere with this investigation,” said Nyamai. MPs Kimani Ngunjiri and Owen Baya supported the chair, demanding that the directors appear in person.

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