Swazuri summoned by anti graft agency over SGR compensation

By OUR REPORTER
newsdesk@reporter.co.ke
The chairman of the National Land Commission (NLC), Prof Muhammad Swazuri and the vice chair Abigael Mbagaya, will appear before the Ethic and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) on (Monday June 19, 2017).
The two together with other four commissioners are being investigated in connection with compensation of millions of shillings for land acquired by the government for the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
A letter by, Mr Abdi Mohamud, the EACC director of investigations on behalf of the EACC Secretary, says in part: “Commission is conducting an inquiry into the allocation of land and compensation of land owners affected by the Standard Gauge Railway Project in Embakasi and Athi River.
This is therefore to ask you to make arrangements for you and the commissioners mentioned below to appear at our offices located at Integrity Centre Nairobi on the dates and time indicated for the purpose of interviews and statements recording.”
The letter addressed to Prof Swazuri has listed the EACC officers who will record statements from the NLC commissioners. Four of the NLC commissioners have already recorded their statements.
Controversy surrounding compensation of billions of shillings for land acquired by the government for the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) erupted in March following an expose by The Nairobian.
The directors of Daimler Enterprises Ltd in a petition to EACC on March 7, 2017 want some NLC officials investigated over the manner in which he handled compensation worth more than Sh 120 million for two parcels of land LR 9084 and LR 15100 belonging to the company.
In their petition to EACC the complainants said the NLC chairman, Prof Muhammad Swazuri, in complete exclusion of other members of the Commission, caused the sum of Sh 82 million to be paid to Bakhresa Grain Millers Ltd in total disregard of the law.
They said is after the NLC revoked Daimler Enterprises Ltd’s absoluteness of title, the unalienable right to ownership of property enshrined under Article 40 of the Constitution, thus violating the constitution, the sanctity and the indefeasibility of a title deed.
The petitioners also alleged gross misconduct and in want of professionalism when NLC recommended the revocation of the complainants title LR No. 15100 in total disregard of the director of survey’s advice contained in his letter dated July 4, 2016 which recommended that the complainants title to the land in dispute was solid and unimpeachable.
The complainant avered that while arriving at the decision to have the sum of Sh 82 million paid to Bakhresa Grain Millers Ltd, the NLC lost its objectivity and impartiality, and allowed themselves to be influenced by favouritism, improper motive and corruption thus violating Article 73(2) (b) of the Constitution.
In their petition the complainants say Prof Swazuri failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that public finance that is trusted to their care is adequately protected and not misused or misappropriated, as they conspired to make payments to fictitious and uncertain claims to purported squatters of unidentified land.
They also allege that the NLC had decided to compensate more than Sh 43 million to a company called Dasahe Investments Ltd , yet the title deed owner was a, Mrs Editor Irima Mugo.
The petitioner alleges the land in question is in dispute between the two parties and Dasahe Investments Ltd did not appear before the review of grants and disposition of public land meeting.
It has also emerged that Dasahe Investments Ltd was claiming a purchaser’s interest in the land in dispute vide a sale agreement dated October 14, 2009 which sale agreement had been statute barred by the provision of section 4, of the Limited Actions Act and hence unenforceable in law.
Prof Swazuri has however, denied the allegations leveled against him and the commission saying everything was done above board.
Prof Swazuri said the NLC followed the law in compensating all parties involved in the SGR project.
On allegations that he paid Bakhresa Grain Millers Ltd instead of the rightful owners of the land, Prof Swazuri said that they compensated the grain firm after they discovered that the petitioner was “fighting over a land that was not his.”
On allegations that he wanted to compensate Dasahe Investments Ltd instead Mrs Editor Irima Mugo, who was the title deed holder, Prof Swazuri said the land in question had been sold Dasahe Investments Ltd.

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