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Ntimama in court over illegeal sale of Nairobi Conut property

05 February 2014, 17:51 Millicent Kawii

Nairobi -  Veteran politician William Ole Ntimama has denied authorising the alleged illegal sale of government owned houses to individuals in 1993 while the local government minister.


While testifying in a case which the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission filed in 2007 in an attempt to retrieve already sold Nairobi City Council owned houses, the former Cabinet Minister said he did not approve the sale of houses on a piece of land land measuring 34.63 ha of the now Nairobi Woodley estate.


KACC alleges that houses were purpotedly sold without consent of the minister , without a resolution of the Council as well as the Commissioner of lands to transfer the said houses to 48 private individuals including Mr Musalia Mudavadi.


Mr Ole Ntimama who served for nine years in the local government ministry in his over 25 years in the cabinet, said he was aware of the procedure undertaken by that ministry in the disposal of property which the Nairobi City Council ought to have followed.


“I did not approve sale of property in Woodley estate, the Nairobi City Council had the right of selling or doing anyting to the houses provided a resolution had been passed, there was no specification on what they were going to do with Woodley estate, ” Mr Ntimama said.


Mr Ntimama was referring to a letter dated September 22, 1993 of an alleged resolution  made by the defunct Nairobi City Council that allowed the disposal of the houses for rehabilitation in estates  such as Woodley, Ziwani, Bahati, and Kaloleni which required his authorization.


He said that the approval procedure was that the Nairobi City Council was required to hold meetings to discuss the issue and then the details were forwarded to the Permanent Secretary of the local government ministry.


He ponted out that it was only in rare occasions when the minister made an approval of that kind and that from the meeting resolution, the disposal of the houses project was meant to  rehabilitate and refurbish  Council houses.


“Woodley never came into my focus at all, approval was for the identification detailing what we were going to do with the housing estates not particularly Woodley, I approved the resolution with the Council on clarification with refurbishing, I didn’t approve Woodley,” he said.


Ntimama who was first elected as member of parliament in 1988 and is the the third witness to testify, said his key responsibility as the local government minister was to make sure the Nairobi City Council ran properly in accordance with regulations and law.


He also said the local authority had the powers to sale, donate repossess any land or property legally acquired.


During cross examination, he said he was aware of public discussions and debates in parliament of the alleged sale of Woodley estate when parliamentary reports were presented as evidence of his alleged authorization.


In 1993 the Nairobi City Council embarked on selling houses in various estates in Nairobi to 108 individuals when Ms Zipporah Wandera was the City Clerk.


There were wide reports dubbed the ‘housing scandal’ in the public dormain and in parliament where there were calls for Mr Ntimama to resign with regards to the mode of acquisition of individual properties of the now Woodley estate to Joseph Kang’ethe.


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