Ruaraka land payout saga ‘in Swazuri lap’

Mercy Mwai @wangumarci

The National Land Commission (NLC) is yet again on the spot over the Sh3.2 billion paid out as compensation for the land where Ruaraka High School and Drive Inn Primary School sit on.

It also emerged yesterday that the land is still a private property even though NLC has already paid some money as compensation.

Consequently, the commission is also being questioned over its move to compensate 13.7 acres instead of 13.5 acres where the two schools sit thus occasioning a loss of Sh68.5 million.

Lands Cabinet secretary Farida Karoney  and Education Permanent secretary Belio Kipsang, who were appearing before the Senate Public Accounts and Investment Committee  said  NLC is to blame for any transaction as they  had no role on the matter.

Appearing separately, the two exonerated their respective ministries from any wrong doing saying any transactions that were made had the blessings of NLC.

In particular, Karoney said the process leading to the payment of the compensation should have been handled in a better manner to avoid any loss of funds.

She took on the then Commissioner for Lands for issuing allotment letters to the two schools yet it was clear that the land is owned by a private developer.

According to Karoney, the commissioner should not have proceeded to issue the title deed because the original owners Afrison Export Import and Hueland Limited opposed the sub-division of the land.

She said: “I think this process was not followed properly. As a government we could have done better to avoid any loss of money.”

Karoney, who was accompanied by the ministry top officials however, told the committee that documents in their possession shows that the land belongs to Afrison Export Import Limited and Huelands Limited are the real owners of the land.

She said that although the ten percent public utility was not surrendered, she said that the government is determined to ensure that there is no loss of public money.

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