Swazuri’s deputy takes over at NLC as new appointments announced


Swazuri's deputy takes over at NLC as new appointments announced
National Land Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri speaking to the press on Wednesday July 25, 2018. PHOTO| CITIZEN DIGITAL

In Summary

  • Swazuri, who is facing corruption-related charges over fraudulent compensation in acquiring of land meant for the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), is out on bail after he was arrested and charged on Monday.
  • In a press statement, NLC on Wednesday said there is no crisis at the commission following the arraignment of the chairman and other officials, adding that Mr. Mbagaya was performing Swazuri's role.
  • While granting the accused bail, Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi ordered the suspects deposit their travel documents and not to contact witnesses in the case. They are expected to remain out of office until the matter is concluded.

Embattled National Land Commission (NLC) chairman Muhammad Swazuri’s role at the commission has been taken up by his deputy, Abigael Mbagaya Mukolwe.

Swazuri, who is facing corruption-related charges over fraudulent compensation in acquiring of land meant for the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), is out on bail after he was arrested and charged on Monday.

In a press statement, NLC on Wednesday said there is no crisis at the commission following the arraignment of the chairman and other officials, adding that Mr. Mbagaya was performing Swazuri’s role.

“Our attention has been drawn to reports appearing in some sections of the media that the Commission is in a crisis following the arraignment in court of the Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Muhammad A. Swazuri and other officials of the Commission,” reads the statement.

“The Commission wishes to state that the Commission is fully constituted with the Vice Chairperson, Abigael Mbagaya Mukolwe performing the duties of the office of the chairperson, as has always been the case when the incumbent is out of office.”

At the secretariat level, Prof. David Kuria (Director Geoinformation Management Directorate) was appointed in an acting capacity, as the Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the commission.

Mr. Bernard Cherutich (Deputy Director Finance) was appointed, also in acting capacity, as the Director Finance and Administration, while Mr. Joash Oindo (Deputy Director, Valuation and Taxation) will serve in an acting capacity as Director Valuation and Taxation.

Swazuri, together with Tom Aziz Chavangi (CEO National Land Commission), Salome Munubi (NLC Director Valuation and Taxation), Francis Karimi Mugo (Director, Finance and Administration) and others denied charges levelled against them and were released on a cash bail of Ksh.3.5 million each.

While granting the accused bail, Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi ordered the suspects deposit their travel documents and not to contact witnesses in the case.

They are expected to remain out of office until the matter is concluded.

The magistrate set the pre-trial of the case on August 29, 2018.

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