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Kimunya criminal case to continue: High Court

08 July 2014, 14:47 William Korir

Nairobi - Former Cabinet minister Amos Kimunya has lost an attempt to stop his criminal trial in which he is being accused of fraudulently transferring to a 25-acre piece of land using a local company.


Midland limited and its chairman Junghae Wainaina had moved to quote seeking to quash the prosecution trial proceedings against the former Lands minister, Mr Wainaina and a director of Land Adjudication and Settlement Ms Lilian Njenga.


However High Court judge Weldon Korir while dismissing the request, said the trial could not be stopped since the Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and a Milimani law Courts Chief magistrates have already adequately prepared and cannot be stopped from doing their work.


Justice Korir said that in halting that trial would mean that the DPP, EACC and the Milimani law Courts Chief magistrates have the intention of doing away with it despite the fact that the company and Mr Wainana had alleged that they had taken four months to prepare for this new case in order to get the necessary material.


The judge faulted the fact that the case had been filed a week before the trial scheduled for July 7 and 8, four months after Mr Kimunya, Mr Wainaina and Ms Njenga were charged on March 17.


“That is not good reason for failing to come in good time for this case, in any case it is unlikely that the trial will be conducted and concluded on the scheduled dates, there is therefore sufficient time to hear and determine this case before the trial, in my view the balance of convenience tilts in favour of not stopping the criminal trial,” ruled the judge.


The judge said that there was a need to hear the new case on a priority basis since it would useless if the trial proceeds before it is heard and determined.

Justice Korir also said that the request for stopping the trial lacks merit before dismissing it and that the decision would be in the best interest of the parties involved.


The company and Mr Wainaina allege that the criminal trial has an ulterior motive, is illegal and that the Agriculture ministry wants to deprive Midland ltd its property and investments.


The two allege that the trial is an interference with fair justice, it regards a property subject in another case, is meant to threaten and coax the company to surrender what was lawfully allocated  and so the case needs to be quashed as well as an order issued to prohibit its hearing.


The company claims other politicians too have shares in the company besides Kimunya’s 1000 shares and are good willed in supporting the farmers.


But the DPP, EACC and the Milimani law Courts Chief magistrates had argued that this case had to be dismissed since the company and Mr Wainaina had rushed to court at the last minute.


Midland ltd alleges that it is a creation of leaders, residents and mainly farmers from Nyandarua to be an agro processing project meant to add value to agricultural produce from within the county and outside in a bid to boost the potato, carrots, cabbage and horticultural crop farmers’ livelihood.


In their suit papers, the company says farmers requested the government in August 15, 2003 through Mr Kimunya, the then minister, to be allocated land in the Nyandarua Settlement Fund Trustee land which was under-utilized then since it was most suitable as it had ambient temperature and its proximity to Nairobi.


And the Agriculture ministry used to train farmers on how to improve quantity and quality of produce in part of the Settlement’s land which was 72 acres whilst 4acres was used for pasture.


The remaining portion was sizeable enough for sublet hence the proposal to set up the agro-processing plant passed and saw Mr Kimunya announce at a public rally on April 30 2004 that the farmers be allocated the land through the company which was legally transferred and obtained with a deed.


Midland subdivided the land into 6 units however Mr Wainaina was informed by Anti-grafts officials in June 2011that it had placed a restriction on the original Midland title deed and that it was investigating an alleged illegal acquisition of the land from the Settlement Fund Trustees.


Mr Wainana was told that KACC was investigating a complaint regarding the alleged irregular allocation of some land allocated to a company associated with a senior politician from Nyandarua.


In June 2013, Mr Wainaina got a letter from the DPP and the EACC asking him to surrender the land and they first threatened to sue him on the basis of that assertion.


A case was indeed filed in Nakuru on February 19, 2013 but EACC later called him again asking him to appear in court on March 17 to be charged in connection with the land alongside Mr Kimunya and Ms Njenga in a case which the complainant is Dr Romano Kiome a former PS in the ministry of Agriculture who is allegedly the registered proprietor of the land yet the Settlement had never complained.

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