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Executive disowns list of trust land beneficiaries around Kenya

By Joseph Muchiri | August 11th 2016
Embu County Lands, Water, Environment and Natural Resources Executive Member Josphat Kithumbu speaks on the floor of the County Assembly during Statement Hour to answer queries on Mwea Trust Land. (PHOTO: JOSEPH MUCHIRI/ STANDARD)

The county government has disowned a list of beneficiaries of the Mwea Trust land purported to have originated from the office of an MP.

Lands, Water, Environment and Natural Resources Executive Josphat Kithumbu revealed that the list contained "cooked" names.

Speaking in the county assembly during Statement Hour, Mr Kithumbu urged residents of Mwea to ignore the list, which he said was engineered by people of malicious intent.

"I have leafed through the list forwarded to me and I disown it in totality. It's not a representation of facts as they are," he said.

"The list I saw as part of a genuine document is countersigned by sub-county administrator (for) Mbeere South and the chairperson of the County Land Management Board on every page, and is further stamped by the National Land Commission."

Kithumbu revealed that the fake list had been the subject of a security meeting chaired by Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho on July 1 and investigations had been launched to establish the source and intention of the list.

He said that several people had been questioned and had recorded statements in connection with the list, which showed that some people were allocated just half an acre while others got hundreds of acres of the 17,000-hectare Mwea Settlement Scheme.

Kithumbu however declined to table the authentic list of beneficiaries, saying certain procedures needed to be followed before the information was made public.

He said he had no problem tabling all 7,232 land searches and green cards, but added that once a parcel of land was registered under the Land Act Cap 300, any record of the entries could only be acquired for a fee of Sh520.

He said he would table the information if given Sh3.8 million to buy the searches from the National Land Commission.

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