Itumbi's new bid to sue Matiang'i in Sh1.5b deal

ICT CAS Dennis Itumbi at the Serena hotel when he announced that he was moving to court to sue former Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang`i over the Ruaraka land saga. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Chief Administrative Secretary nominee Dennis Itumbi has renewed his bid to privately prosecute former Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i over Sh1.5 billion Ruaraka land transaction.

In 2020, Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti dismissed Itumbi’s application to have the former powerful minister in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government in the dock.

Ogoti found that Itumbi did not legally get his evidence, adding that there was no proof that the Director of Public Prosecutions refused to press charges against Dr Matiang’i.

Itumbi has sued the National Land Commission (NLC), Senate clerk, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, Treasury, Ruaraka High School and Attorney General Justin Muturi, arguing that they are withholding information that will enable him to prosecute Matiang’i.

In his case filed before Justice Hedwig Ong’udi, the CAS has also sued Chief Land Registrar and the Nairobi County director of physical planning and urban development.

Itumbi claims that he wrote three letters; on February 7, March 13, and March 22 this year requesting that he be supplied with information on the Ruaraka land transactions but the government agencies have declined to do so.

In the case, Itumbi says he is relying on Ogoti’s decision.

"The petitioner now guided by the said ruling in pursuit of his right to access information under Article 35 (1) of the Constitution made a formal request by his letters dated February 7, 2023, March 13, 2023, and March 22, 2023, to the respondents requesting to be furnished with the documents that would enable him to gather evidence towards the filing of the private prosecution against Dr Fred Matiang’i,” Itumbi’s court papers read in part.

Itumbi states that he is the current Ministry of Information, Communication, and Digital Economy CAS.

According to him, he learned in 2018 that NLC had paid Sh1.5 billion to acquire 2.8255 hectares and 2.7472 hectares out of land owned by Afrison Export and Import Limited and Huelands Limited.

The two parcels of land, according to him, were to have two schools; Drive-In Primary School and Ruaraka High School.

He alleges that the court found that Matiang’i, who was then Education CS, failed to consider a report by the ministry dated January 27, 2017, before the compulsory acquisition process started.