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Panic as EACC, DPP probe Sh308 million Kilifi land purchase deal

The anti-corruption commission has launched investigations into the purchase of 11 acres of land by the county for Sh308 million at Mtwapa.

The land, for a market and bus park project, was bought in October 2014 during Governor Amason Kingi's first tenure with the current Kilifi North MP Dr Owen Baya serving as county secretary.

Local activists have questioned the cost of the property estimated at Sh28 million per acre.

The Standard has established that Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) launched investigations last week following a request by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

A letter disclosing the start of the investigation has been leaked on Kilifi WhatsApp platforms since Friday generating debates on whether it was genuine.

However, a top official within EACC headquarters told The Standard that what has been circulating is genuine, adding that the probe was launched following a request by the DPP's office.

"The letter is genuine and what we want is personal information regarding the old matter on Kilifi bus park as you can read on the letter. Investigations are ongoing," said the officials who asked not to be named. 

Kilifi County Secretary Arnold Mkare whom the letter is addressed to, said he was out on leave and will respond after receiving the letter. 

“I have been on leave for four days and I have not resumed work. I will call you back once in office,” said Mr Mkare

The anti-graft agency wrote a letter to the county secretary on December 19 requesting for documents in respect of Baya.

“This commission is carrying out investigation into allegations of irregular purchase of land for a bus park in Kilifi County. To facilitate our investigations, please give us the personal file for the above mentioned (Owen Yaa Baya) former county secretary,” the letter by EACC's Salat Ali states in part.

The document shows it was received by Mkare.

Yesterday, Baya questioned the authenticity of the letter. 

"I have seen the letter circulating on social media but I have not received any communication. How come the letter is addressed to one person who is the current county secretary (only)? I don’t want to spend time discussing some things,” he said.

The amount allocated for the purchase of the bus park and market raised concerns among the locals which led to the EACC to interrogate several top officials in the county government.

The county advertised for the purchase of land in October 2014 for a minimum of 10 acres, on the main Mombasa-Malindi highway and no more than four kilometres from the Mtwapa bridge.

On April 1, 2015, the county notified Furure Link Ltd through a letter Ref No CG/KLF/ADM/67/VOL.1/110 of their acceptance offer.

“Your tender for the purchase of land amounting to Sh308, 189, 651.00 exclusive of all taxes and incidentals is hereby accepted,” stated the letter by Roads and Public Works Chief Officer CK Kazungu.

The title deeds to the land were issued to Future Links Ltd on October, 1, 2014.

On April 20, 2015, Future Link Ltd through its manager Bryon Mwangola in a letter addressed to the chief officer, accepted the tender and pledged to comply with the requirements.

On November 29, 2016, Kilifi Lobby Group, through its chairperson Emmanuel Ndurya, wrote to the county assembly requesting for documents of the land.  

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