Muthama among 10 to be charged over Malili Land deal
TEN people, among them Senator Johnstone Muthama and former PS Bitange Ndemo, will be prosecuted over questionable dealings that led to the loss of Sh179 million in the sale of the controversial Malili Ranch.
The government will build the Konza ICT city on the 5,000 acres. Former Lands Commissioner Zablon Mabea and Commissioner Ronald Musengi of the National Police Service Commission will also face charges alongside members of the Information and Communications Ministerial Tender Committee.
Lawyer Paul Muite, who was tasked by Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko to look into the police investigation of Malili, has recommended prosecution, saying there is enough evidence to charge the group. Muite told the DPP in his report there was sufficient evidence that senior government officials conspired to steal from the shareholders of Malili. Lawyer Kamotho Waiganjo and Law Society of Kenya chairman Eric Mutua, who have been adversely mentioned in the transactions, have been spared recommendation for prosecution.
They are however likely to be part of the prosecution witnesses. Mutua’s law firm was involved in the disbursement of funds to former Malili Ranch shareholders. Mutua has also recorded a statement over the transactions, in which he denied any wrongdoing.
In May, 66 former shareholders complained to the CID that they had not received their money even after the government had taken possession of Malili. Muthama told the Star he is innocent and had nothing to do with sale of the Malili land. “I have nothing to fear because I am not a criminal.
Only criminals should fear,” he said in a phone interview. The whole transaction to purchase the ranch cost Sh1 billion. The investigation also sought to establish why the Lands ministry paid an initial deposit of Sh400 million, more than the normal 10 per cent.
The investigation will also look at how the Lands ministry consolidated land belonging to individual shareholders to form the 5,000 acres purchased by the ministry of Information. Construction of the Konza Techno City is estimated to cost Sh1.2 trillion and will start in December. Funding will come from the private sector and the World Bank