House refers petitioners to DCI over corruption claims against Swazuri

Chairman of the National Land Commission (NLC) Muhammad Swazuri speaking to journalist in Nakuru on February 12,2019. [PHOTO Harun Wathari/Standard]

The National Assembly has referred a petition to investigate the leadership of the National Land Commission (NLC) to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

In a petition read yesterday in the House by Speaker Justin Muturi, The Land Sector Non-State Actors wants MPs to investigate NLC Chairman Muhammad Swazuri, Vice Chairperson Abigael Mbagaya and Commissioner Clement Isaiah Lenachuru over their alleged involvement in fraudulent acquisition of land belonging to State agencies.

Acting on behalf of Samuel Kioi, Anne Kimani, George Kiige and Nagib Shamsan, the organisation sought the intervention of the House to investigate the claims with a view to kicking them out of office.

But Mr Muturi referred them to the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) since the term of the commissioners is set to end next Tuesday, making their prayers before the House time-barred.

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“Indeed, where the grounds contain complaints that are of a criminal nature, they are at liberty to forward the petition to the DCI. I therefore direct the clerk to communicate my advisory to the petitioner,” said Muturi.

The petitioners claimed that Prof Swazuri unlawfully used his office to enrich himself by fraudulently disposing of 1,129 acres of public land which was then used by Mombasa Cement Company Limited in Kilifi.

They further wanted him held accountable for the controversial compensation for 3.7 acres of land for Drive-In Primary School and Ruaraka High School.

They further claimed he authorised unwarranted compensation of over Sh200 million for Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) strips of land in Embakasi township and Darfur Dupoto, yet the title deeds in respect of the said parcels had been revoked.

They also accused Swazuri of fraudulently and illegally allocating 2,380 acres to a cement company without proof relating to ownership of the land.

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The petitioners said Ms Mbagaya fraudulently conspired to influence the renewal of a lease for LR 209/923, LR 209/924 and LR 209/925 by dispossessing Ms Sayani Investments and issuing a new lease to one Sadhani Limited and Keibukwo Investments Ltd.

“That she was complicit with the chairperson and other commissioners in the irregular payment of compensation for SGR land, including parcels whose title deeds had been revoked,” read the petition.

“That, as chairperson of the NLC Committee on Review of Grants and Disposition of Public Land, she allegedly held secret meetings with third parties to the Mwalimu Farm in Kiambu County, hence arriving at a questionable determination that denied the affected persons justice,” the petition said.

They claimed Lenachuru was influenced to fraudulently conspire with another commissioner to dispossess Sayani Investments lease of the land on which Caxton House in Nairobi sits, and granted a lease to Sadhani Limited and Keibukwo Investments Ltd.

They further claimed that he aided in the irregular payment of compensation for SGR land, including parcels whose title deeds had been revoked, hence occasioning loss of public funds.

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National AssemblyDirectorate of Criminal InvestigationsNLCJustin MuturiMuhammad SwazuriMPs