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Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu denies role in Sh8b Karen land

By Abigael Sum | Oct 19th 2014 | 3 min read

Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu has distanced herself from claims by a section of CORD leaders that she is involved in the controversial grabbing of 134 acres in Karen, Nairobi.

She also absolved Deputy President William Ruto, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo, CID Director Muhoro Ndegwa, Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko and James Mbaluka.

“I have talked to all people mentioned including the Deputy President and they have absolutely nothing about that piece of land,” she said.

She termed the accusations false adding, it is a diversionary tactic used by those involved in dubious land transaction in Lamu where 500,000 acres of public land were allocated to private entities, in Kwale, Machakos and in other areas.

“It is clear this was a political statement by people burdened by dubious land transactions carried out in the past,” she said.

She challenged her accusers to present evidence to support their claims and present them to the relevant investigating agencies.

“They want to cover up what they have done before. People are still angry with the work and reforms we are currently implementing. I am trying to clean up and digitise processes in the ministry but we are experiencing stiff resistance,” she said.

The CS said the ministry will investigate all the records on the controversial land to ascertain the genesis of the dispute and help the court make a fair judgment.

Ngilu has since written to the chairman of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, and the Director of Criminal Investigations to conduct investigations on the piece of land adding that officers in the ministry will fully comply with the summons to appear in court.

The land is at the centre of an ownership controversy pitting businessman Horatius Da Gama Rose and former NSSF Managing Trustee Jos Konzolo.

Yesterday, police evicted occupants of the Sh8 billion Karen land, following a High Court directive issued on Monday.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned the opposition against inciting Kenyans by making unsubstantiated corruption accusations touching on senior government officials.

In an apparent reference to claims by a section CORD leaders that DP William Ruto, Cabinet Secretaries Joseph ole Lenku and Ngilu were involved in the alleged grabbing of land in Karen Estate, the president said in future such leaders would be held accountable.

“I want to caution some leaders to do their homework well before making reckless statements and linking people to scandals,” he said.

Speaking in Naivasha constituency after commissioning the biggest geothermal power plant in Africa that will add 140 MW of clean energy to the national grid, the President said Jubilee’s agenda of transforming the country will not be derailed by empty political rhetoric.

“We are determined to transform this country through fulfilling our pledges to Kenyans and no amount of politicking will derail us from achieving our goals,” Uhuru said.

The President who was accompanied by his deputy, five Cabinet Secretaries, 17 Members of Parliament and three Senators said the opposition was making wild allegations against state officials in a bid to divert Jubilee’s development agenda.

CORD leaders led by Senators Boni Khalwale and Johnston Muthama told the media in Nairobi that Ruto and six others were the “architects in the monumental and unprecedented” controversial grabbing of 134 acres in Karen land.

They named Governor Kidero, Inspector General Kimaiyo and CID Director Muhoro,  Ngilu and her personal assistant James Mbaluka and Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko, as senior government officials in the scandal.

However, CORD leaders failed to give any evidence to support the allegations. President Kenyatta hit out at governors pushing for referendum to have national revenue allocation to the counties increased saying they had failed to make use of the funds allocated to them in the first one and half year of devolution.
“We cannot keep on asking for more money yet we have not seen what you have done with what we have already allocated you,” said the president.

Additional reporting by Steve Mkawale and Antony Gitonga



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