Ruaraka saga: EACC now wants NLC to deposit Ksh.1.5B in court
- EACC claims that Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i, who previously headed the education docket, his then Principal Secretary Dr. Belio Kipsang and embattled NLC chairman Prof. Muhammad Swazuri colluded to defraud Kenyans Ksh.1.5 billion.
- The anti-graft body also wants the balance of Ksh.1.7 billion that Mr. Mburu is claiming from the Education Ministry stopped, to save the taxpayers from further loss.
By Dzuya Walter and Francis Gachuri
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) now wants the National Land Commission (NLC) compelled to deposit in court Ksh.1.5 billion as security to be recovered, should the court rule that the compensation paid to businessman Francis Mburu for the Ruaraka land was irregular.
In a petition filed in court on Thursday, EACC claims that Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i, who previously headed the education docket, his then Principal Secretary Dr. Belio Kipsang and embattled NLC chairman Prof. Muhammad Swazuri colluded to defraud Kenyans Ksh.1.5 billion.
EACC also wants the balance of Ksh.1.7 billion that Mr. Mburu is claiming from the Education Ministry stopped, to save the taxpayers from further loss.
The National Land Commission had valued the 13.5 acres on which Ruaraka High School and Drive-inn Primary School are built at Ksh.3.2 billion.
According to the commission’s investigations, the 13.5 acres had been sub-divided, and surrendered to the government, hence, dismissed a letter by Mburu indicating that the sub-division had been cancelled.
But according to EACC, Mburu’s letter dated April 5, 1984 was a well choreographed scheme between Mburu’s companies Afrison and Heulands Limited and officers from Nairobi City County, Survey of Kenya, Ministry of Education and lands commission to conceal the fact that the parcel of land had been surrendered to the government.
EACC in the affidavit, claims matiang’i had directed Nairobi Education Regional Coordinator John Ololtuaa to investigate the status of ownership for the land on which the two schools are built in Ruaraka.
Ololtuaa’s committee in its report, said the land was public, and called for a speedy processing of title deeds for the two institutions to prevent encroaching.However, EACC told the court that Matiang’i, Kipsang and Swazuri ignored the committee’s report, and proceeded to process the Ksh.3.2 billion compensation for Mburu.
In November last year, National Treasury Principal Secretary Dr. Kamau Thugge authorised the Education Ministry to spend Ksh.1.5 billion in compulsory acquisition of the 13.5 acres parcel of land, pending regularisation of the expenditure in the 2017/18 supplementary budget because the compensation was not budgeted for initially.
Mburu had instructed NLC to pay Whispering Palms the Ksh.1.5 billion, that was in less than a month shared out to over 30 companies and individuals. This transaction EACC says was planned to circumvent a court order issued in December 2016, prohibiting NLC and any other government from making payments to Mburu’s companies Afrison and Huelands Limited.
EACC wants the court to compel Mburu to pay back the Ksh.1.5 billion that he pocketed in January this year.
Swazuri has denied any wrong doing in the Ruaraka transaction, and claimed powerful forces out to tame Dr. Matiang’i were using him as a scapegoat.
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