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Ngilu could face trial on Karen land

Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu could face prosecution over her role in the Sh8 billion Karen land scandal in which senior government officials were allocated prime plots illegally.

Her fate now lies with the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Keriako Tobiko, who will decide whether to take her to court as recommended by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission or to drop the charges.

On Wednesday, the commission gave Mr Tobiko a case file recommending the charges following months of investigations.

An EACC document said of Ms Ngilu’s case: “Inquiry into allegations that top government officials, MPs, State/Public officers are among beneficiaries of the subdivided 13.4 acres of public land in Karen valued at Sh8 billion, namely LR No 35861/31R31187 which has been double allocated to Horatious Da Gama Rose of Ms Mchanga Investments and Jos Konzolo of Telesource Ltd.”

If charged, she will become the second CS to be put in the dock after her Transport counterpart, Mr Michael Kamau, who is already facing abuse of office charges over a road contract in western Kenya.

OFF THE HOOK

Mr Tobiko has the option of letting Ms Ngilu off the hook by declaring the evidence presented by the EACC as insufficient to sustain a trial. The other option available to him is to return the file with a directive to the EACC to conduct further investigations.

The commission had been investigating three allegations against Ms Ngilu, including her alleged involvement in the Waitiki farm saga and yet another parcel of land on State House Crescent.

Last week, she was cleared over the Waitiki Farm issue while the one on the land on State House Crescent is still with the EACC.

In a separate matter, Mr Tobiko has directed the EACC to investigate how Sh90 million was transferred from Kenya Pipeline to Kenya Power, both State corporations.

The transaction matter arose from an investigation in which the EACC was looking at allegations that Energy CS Davis Chirchir and Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko attempted to influence a tender at KPC.

The anti-corruption detectives were looking into information that the tender was corruptly awarded to M/s Sinopec instead of M/Zakhem, and that the CS and the senator were supposed to share $15 million (Sh1.4 billion) as kickbacks from the deal.

The DPP, however, upheld the EACC recommendations and cleared the two but was not satisfied with how the particular transaction was made.

In clearing them, Mr Tobiko said in a statement: “I have, however, directed that the alleged transfer of Sh90 million from Kenya Pipeline Company to Kenya Power for unknown business contracts be investigated further and on completion the file be re-submitted to my office for perusal and appropriate directions.”

STEP ASIDE

These high-profile investigations were part of 124 cases that President Uhuru Kenyatta presented in Parliament in March and gave the anti-graft body 60 days to investigate. He asked the government officials named in the report to step aside pending the outcome of the investigation.

Whereas national government officials and state officers stepped aside, governors who were adversely mentioned did.

Besides Mrs Ngilu and Mr Chirchir, other ministers on the list were Mr Kazungu Kambi (Labour), Mr Felix Koskei (Agriculture) and Mr Kamau (Transport).

In his statement, Mr Tobiko cleared Mr Kosgey over allegations that he “irregularly awarded allocation of permits to 10 companies.”

He said: “It is clear that the CS was not involved in the process of registering, considering and allocation of any of the import permits for importation of sugar and there lacks evidence that he influenced the process.”

The latest decision by the DPP was also joy to Mr Kamau after he cleared him of a second allegation, that he irregularly awarded a tender “for clearing and forwarding services to M/s Landmark Clearing and Fowarding Company.

“There is no evidence that CS Kamau influenced the award of the contract to M/s Landmark Port Conveyors by China Roads and Bridges Company (CRBC) or any other company for that matter,” said Mr Tobiko.

This investigation involved the CRBC and Kenya Railways because the clearing and forwarding services touched on the construction of the standard gauge railway.

Narok Governor Samuel ole Tunai is also a free man after the DPP cleared him of all allegations against him.

In doing so, Mr Tobiko upheld five recommendations by the EACC concerning Narok County but declined three other matters on which he ordered further investigations.

They are collection of revenue in the Mara Triangle, hiring of a helicopter by the county government as well as procurement of KAPS as a service provider in the area of its jurisdiction.

SOURCE: Daily Nation