EACC satisfied with sale of Integrity Centre


EACC satisfied with sale of Integrity Centre

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) now says it was satisfied with the process followed in the sale of the Integrity Center building where the commission’s offices are located.

EACC CEO Halakhe Waqo said that the commission was recommending for the closure of the file forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko probing the sale of the building.

Waqo was speaking when he appeared before the Parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee on the sale of the building.

He said that the EACC had been under receivership owing 813 million shillings but ended up paying 115 million shillings.

The committee sought to know how the figure was arrived at and who negotiated for the price among other procedures followed.

EACC has been given up to Friday to present the documents to the committee.

According to documents in Citizen TV’s possession, the Integrity Centre premises have been changing hands since the year 1994 when Revack limited acquired the property from Trade Finance Limited, a subsidiary of trust bank limited that has since been liquidated by the deposit protection fund board.

In normal practice, a liquidated company cannot dispose of its own property and therefore raising questions why Trust Bank did so.

In fact, to date the defunct trust bank which was placed under liquidation has never cleared the purchase fee. As of 1998, the debt stood at 484 million shillings.

Over the years the EACC and its predecessor KACC has been paying rent to the tune of 50 million shillings annually, all to Revack limited despite it not having fully paid for the premises.

The building was allegedly transferred from Revack limited represented by two people among them Mwonga Gedion Munyao who is now deceased and a former messenger at the executing law firm.

According to documents in Citizen TV’s possession the ownership of the Integrity Centre is so contentious that the commission had written to the National Land Commission (NLC) to investigate the matter, even as they consider acquisition of different premises.

 

Disruption of high-profile investigations

In February, the EACC was ordered to vacate its Integrity Centre headquarters by June 30 when the current lease expires.

In a notice sent to former EACC chairman Mumo Matemu, the owners of the building, Revack Limited, a company associated with former Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott, wanted the commission to start renovating the iconic building in Nairobi before moving out.

“We are instructed by the proprietor of the above building to notify you that the owner will not renew the lease on the basis of which you occupy the premises. As you are aware, your lease expires on June 30, 2015. The owner demands you deliver vacant possession of the property after full restoration at your cost as required in the lease,” read the letter dated February 18, 2015, and sent by Mr SK Kiplagat of Kipkenda and Company Advocates.

The notice triggered a robust reaction from Matemu who said the ownership of the building was the subject of investigation.

“We have to check how the ownership of this building is structured. If the owner is Revack, why is Revack again writing on behalf of the landlord?” Matemu asked.

Matemu linked the eviction notice to a scheme targeting the disruption of various high-profile investigations.

“We are fighting a big war and we are currently pursuing three major cases of national importance. People are hitting back in a bid to divert investigations. But we have promised to deliver and that we must do,” said Matemu.

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Maureen Murimi
Story By Maureen Murimi
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