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Ex-county staff in land fraud case freed on bond

Rift Valley
 Dorcas Kandie and private land valuer Dominic Auma appeared before Kabarnet Anti-Corruption Court. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Former Baringo Lands Chief Officer and a land valuer on Thursday denied corruption charges involving a piece of land.

Dorcas Kandie and private land valuer Dominic Auma, who appeared before Kabarnet Anti-Corruption Court denied the charges and were each released on a Sh1 million bond with a surety of a similar amount.

Kandie and Auma appeared before Chief Magistrate Judith Wanjala. They were represented by lawyers Ngetich Kipkoech and Steve Biko respectively.

Kipkoech pleaded with the court to release the suspects on bond stating that they were not a flight risk and that they are residents of Baringo.

"The offence is alleged to have been committed in 2016, my client is a resident of Baringo and she understands the duty of obeying and coming to court," Kipkoech said

According to the anti-graft agency detectives, the county government of Baringo wanted to buy a piece of land to construct houses for its employees within Kabarnet town in 2016.

The project fell under the department of lands, which was tasked with the process of identifying a suitable parcel of land for the project. Kandie, who was the accounting officer, allegedly colluded with the valuer to inflate the price of the land from Sh8 million to Sh24. 3 million.

The charge sheet stated that the actual size of the land was 7.8 acres while the officers recorded 10 acres.

"On May 3, 2016, at Baringo County Government Office, being the Chief Officer Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Baringo County, you willfully failed to comply with the law relating to procurement, Schedule of C.P.C) to wit Section 84 of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act, 2005 by engaging a team to enter into negotiations with the successful bidder in the tender number BRCG/LHU/TRN/2/2015-2016 for purchase of land for public purpose prior to the Tender Committee's approval of the successful proposal."

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