Karen land investigation report to be released in 30 days
19 November 2014, 14:43
Nairobi – The Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the CID department have assured National Assembly’s Lands Committee that investigation into the controversial 134 acre Karen land is underway and requested for one month to present their findings.
The EACC chairman Mumo Matemo and CID director Ngegwa Muhoro said the two agencies are jointly conducting investigations into the matter with the assistance of the Lands Ministry and other confidential sources particularly in gathering crucial information leading to identification of individuals involved in the land saga.
“The requested one month will enable us gather enough information from the Lands Ministry and other confidential sources, give documents to experts for forensic investigations to provide this committee (Lands) with authentic information,” said Matemo.
He however said the Lands Ministry is yet to provide any documents for investigations to the EACC and CID contrary to the Cabinet Secretary, Charity Ngilu’s earlier claims before the committee that she had already handed over the documents to the two agencies.
“We cannot say that there is poor collaboration between the Lands Ministry and the agencies because we are now in the process of gathering intelligence from other sources and will request the Ministry for certain documents,” noted Matemo.
Muhoro concurred with Matemo’s request for the committee to grant the two agencies more time to do thorough investigations saying the one-month period will enable them validate the authentic and fake gathered document before taking legal action.
“In this era of technology, documents can be forged through Photoshop and the one month period will help segregate the authentic ones through forensic investigations. After 30 days, we will come back to the committee and confirm those to be charged in the Karen land issue,” said Muhoro.
The Lands committee chairman, Alex Mwiru challenged the two agencies to remain committed in their joint investigations and hasten the process for the public to know the truth.
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“The Karen land is a weighty matter and we expect to get tangible information in a month’s time,” said Mwiru.
Ngilu, who later appeared before the Committee after Muhoro and Matemo, said she had assembled crucial documents relating to the Karen land and requested for a two-week period to sort them out before handing them over to the committee.
“After two weeks, I will present the sorted out documents to this Committee. However, I call upon this Committee not to politicize or sensationalize the land issue because the matter is before the High Court and anti-corruption agencies,” said Ngilu.
Mwiru warned Committee members against speaking about the land issue in public gatherings and assured that the Committee’s confidential resolutions will not be leaked out as laid down in the National Assembly’s Standing Orders.
However, Homa Bay Town MP, Peter Kaluma has written to National Assembly Speaker, Justin Muturi alleging that the House is interfering with investigations into the Karen land issue.
Kaluma cited from the recent media report alleging that 40 MPs including those in the National Assembly’s Lands Committee are beneficiaries of the fraudulent land allocations hence raising questions on the credibility of the investigations.
“How can Parliament, particularly, those members of Parliament said to have benefited from the contested allocations purport to investigate the matter which is at the same time the subject matter of court process and investigations by an independent constitutional Commission?” posed Kaluma in a letter.
He requested Muturi to urgently intervene to stop unlawful interference by Parliament or its committees in the ongoing litigation before the High Court and to protect ongoing investigations by EACC and CID agencies.
“I also request you to intervene to stop the threatened removal of the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Lands as it appears the reasons therefore are extraneous and self-serving. This kind of abuse of office by Members of Parliament manifest impunity and only serves to demean the status and standing of Parliament as a governance institution,” warned Kaluma.
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