The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is on the spot for allegedly protecting former powerful Cabinet ministers and politicians allocated hundreds of acres of government land.
The powerful individuals in retired President Moi’s government were irregularly allocated 990 acres of Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) land in Magarini, Kilifi county between 1996 and 2006.
Members of the Departmental Committee on Lands chaired by Rachel Nyamai (Kitui South constituency) accused the commission of failing to adequately deal with the matter despite commencing investigations on the irregular allocation of land.
The MPs claimed the commission is protecting the individuals at the expense of locals, who have become squatters in their own ancestral land.
According to documents tabled by Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Andrew Tuimur last month, the influential figures are among 125 companies and individuals, who were allocated land by Moi’s government at Sabaki ADC.
The individuals include former ministers Simeon Nyachae, Kipkalya Kones (deceased), Katana Ngala and the late Ezekiel Barng’etuny (Nominated MP) as well as Daniel Toroitch, the retired president’s nephew. Others are former Nominated Senator Zipporah Kittony, Kazai Katana, James Tuitoek, Christine Tuimor, Alexander Sitienei, Fatuma Noor, Shaban Isaac and Abu Mohammed.
At a meeting with EACC officials led by vice chairperson Sophia Lepuchirit, MPs accused the commission of not only hiding the files but always giving excuses as to why the investigations have not been concluded. They also said matter was not among the ones the commission has prioritised.
The accusations came after Lepuchirit admitted that she was not aware of investigations into the matter and only learnt about it a day before she appeared before the committee yet she has been in office for the last three years.
Her sentiments drew angry reactions from the committee members, who threatened to indict the commission once they table their report before the House. Following the move the MPs, who included Nyamai, Mishi Mboko (Likoni), Owen Baya (Kilifi North ), Caleb Kositany (Soy), Khatib Mwashetani, (Lunga lunga), Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati) and Teddy Mwambire (Ganze) directed the commission to conclude the investigations and table a report to the committee on the way forward within two weeks.
Nyamai expressed shock that for the last 10 years, nothing much has been done.
Mboko regretted that despite the commission being funded by taxpayers, nothing much has been done on the matter.
Baya said there is evidence of interference and cover up on the investigations and that is why the matter has never been concluded. “Are you aware that this file has been missing, it always disappeared, and even the note on file that you are talking about is fake. For 10 years, what have you been doing?” he posed.
But Lepuchirit said investigations are ongoing to establish whether the land was genuinely sub-divided, adding that the commission is also considering having discussions with the National Lands Commission to address the historical issues raised by the residents.