Sudi vows to snub committee summons over varsity land row

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi has said that he will not honour summons to appear before the National Assembly Committee on Land to shed light on the disputed Moi University land that is being claimed by squatters.

In a video posted on his social media platforms, Sudi claimed that there was nothing to explain regarding the contested 1,515-acre land.

He said there is no dispute over the land, and it is general knowledge that it belongs to the university, despite Ngeria estate squatters laying claim to the property.

“Let the parliamentary Lands Committee that was recently in Eldoret, purportedly to collect views on a land adjacent to Moi University know that the expansive land is owned by the university. I urge the committee to focus on meaningful activities instead of squandering taxpayers money,” Sudi claimed. 

The MP urged the committee to seek information about ownership of the land from the local administrators, Ngeria residents and Moi University Vice Chancellor. 

“I saw the Lands committee asking that I appear before them on the issue of the Moi University land. I will not come because that land is not disputed and needs no investigations done. Even a Standard Two child will tell you that the land belongs to the university,” he was captured saying on a video.

He claimed that he has been wrongly dragged into the case yet he has not grabbed public land.

“I am one of you (MPs), why don’t you call me and ask me (about the land issue) instead of mentioning my name? I am not a land grabber; I have never grabbed any land. I bought my land,” he said.

On Friday last week, the Lands committee chairperson Joash Nyamoko who addressed the media after touring the disputed Moi University land in Kesses, Uasin Gishu county, said they would summon the Kapseret MP within seven days to shed light on the matter. 

Nyamoko who is the North Mugirango MP said that Sudi had been adversely mentioned in the matter and ordered residents to stop farming activities on the disputed land until the case is settled. 

“The information we got is that some leaders from this area are involved in ploughing the institution’s land, but we will be able to verify that. We have instructed our clerks to make arrangements so that Oscar Sudi can appear before the committee as he was mentioned during our session,” he said. 

The committee is investigating alleged eviction of the squatters from the suit property and land grabbing.

During the session, the MPs also put to task Moi University Vice Chancellor Isaac Kosgey over alleged irregular lease of half of the institution’s land to a private investor. 

The committee said the land that is being claimed by the squatters, who were reportedly evicted in the 1980s has been ploughed by unnamed developer and leased to Cropsoko company.

Squatters led by David Kemboi, James Chirchir and James Sitienei claimed that the disputed property was their ancestral land. They petitioned the committee to help them recover the land.

The VC revealed that the university is yet to receive a shilling from Cropsoko company despite leasing the land for a period of five years and three months. 

In the agreement, the university was to be paid Sh24 million annually and is expected to receive more than Sh120 million from the company for the lease period.

“The university land was donated by the East Africa Tanning Extract Company (EATEC) with the assistance of former President Daniel arap Moi. At the time of donation, there were no squatters and no one complained of trespass or land grabbing,” said Prof Kosgey.

Kaloleni MP Paul Katana, however, questioned whether the university followed due process in acquiring the title deed of the disputed land.

Members of the committee present were MPs Joses Lelmengit, Rachael Nyamai, Mathias Robi, George Ndung'u, Thuddeus Nzambia, Joseph Gitari, Anthony Mupe and Gideon Ochanda.