Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri has dismissed claims by Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko he is among politicians who benefited from irregular allocation of land hived off from Ngong Forest.
Addressing the press in Nakuru, Ngunjiri distanced himself from the allegations saying that he followed the due process through the Ministry of Lands to own the property.
“I don’t own any forest land as Tobiko claims. The land that I have belonged to the Prisons Service and was reverted back to the Ministry of Lands for reallocation. I have the necessary documents to prove my case,” said Ngunjiri.
Among the documents produced by the legislator included a confidential letter from the Office of Commissioner of Prisons dated March 15, 1993, to the Commissioner of Lands.
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The letter indicates that the Prisons Department surrendered the land back to the Ministry of Lands following a request by the latter.
“In response to your March 12 letter, I wish to state that in recognition of the authority approving the application, I have relinquished my interest on the parcel of land at Langata Area within Nairobi. You may, therefore, reallocate it for residential development,” the letter read in part.
Ngunjiri explained that the Prisons Department had been allocated the land twelve years earlier but had not put it into productive use hence the request to surrender it back to the Lands ministry.
The planned recovery of grabbed land in Ngong area is set to see at least 800 homes, a hospital and commercial developments brought down.
Politicising the land issue
He accused Tobiko of running the ministry in total disregard of the law and without consulting other ministries to the detriment of innocent Kenyans.
“We can’t have Land ministry allocating land while the Ministry of Environment is taking it away. Are the two ministries in two parallel governments? If one ministry makes an error touching another ministry they should sort it out without dragging Kenyans in their mess,” he said.
“Land issues should be addressed through the Ministry of Lands. Tobiko and his ministry have no power to revoke title deeds legally issued by the Lands ministry. It is only a court of law or the National Lands Commission that can do so,” he added.
The MP warned the CS against politicising lands matters noting that government records should be used without witchhunt.
“If the government respects the rule of law, politics should never be mentioned in matters land. It is a shame that when a CS wants to prove that they are working hard and tough they have to whip emotions by evoking names of politicians,” he said.
“He (Tobiko) is igniting a fire he won’t manage to put off. He is ostensibly placing the government in a very bad position on constitutional rights and this will leave President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy tainted,” he said.
Tobiko had last week revealed that Ngunjiri is among politicians who benefited from the land with 18.24 acres on the fast diminishing Ngong Forest under his name.