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Former Kwale administrator fails to testify in Gachanja land case

 From left: Jabu Salim Mohamed, Zablon Agwata and Wilson Gachanja at Mombasa Law Courts, June 2022. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Former Kwale County Commissioner Moffat Kangi failed to testify in a case in which former Commissioner of Lands Wilson Gachanja is facing charges of abuse of office.

Gachanja is charged alongside former senior lands officer in charge of Coast province Zablon Mabeya and former physical planner, Ministry of Lands, Jabu Salim Mohamed. 

Kangi is among the five witnesses yet to be cross-examined before Mombasa Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku. Kangi could not be cross-examined since he was involved in some duties at the Interior ministry where he is currently stationed.

He was engaged at the ministry headquarters during a handover ceremony by the former Cabinet secretary.

Hebert Mboya Ndolo, a former surveyor at the Lands ministry, took the witness stand to be cross-examined by Philip Nyachoti, one of the counsels representing the accused persons.

Ndolo testified that the block underwent various surveys and subdivisions, leading to creation of multiple parcels.

Ndolo testified that the block sandwiched between parcels numbers 188 and 187 was surveyed and subdivided into plots no 627 and 628, being a beach access road, and 190.

While being examined by Principal Prosecution Counsel Alex Gituma, the witness stated that parcel no 345 was hived off 190 and nine other smaller parcels numbers 811-819, being on the beach access road, were created on 30, May 1990.

“The survey on parcel 345 produced a new parcel no 1072 which falls between plots 627, 628 and 819,” the witness told the court.

The Chief Magistrate heard that 117th edition of the registry Index Map Sheet No 2 for Diani Beach Block (South Coast and Mombasa Mainland South -201/3/2) indicate that all along parcel no 1072 has been an access road.

He stated that if the block subject of the court proceedings would have been private land, it would infringe on the registered proprietor’s fundamental rights.

The witness produced several survey maps, he stated, were retrieved from the land registry upon request by EACC detectives.

More witnesses are lined up to testify this week.

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