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11 Apr 2018

CS Matiang'i caught up in Sh3.3 billion land blunder

Former Education CS, now Interior CS Dr Fred Matiang’i, has been caught up in a controversial purchase of 13.5 acre piece of land valued at Sh3.3 billion.

It has emerged that Dr Matiang’i authorised the Mohammed Swazuri led National Land Commission on March 17, 2017 to acquire the 13.5-acre- land, LR No. 7879/4, in Ruaraka, Nairobi, for Ruaraka High and Drive-In Primary schools. 
The acquisition included paying Sh3.3 billion to Afrison Exports and Imports Limited and Huelands Limited, both owned by businessman Francis Mburu, but would later turn against the government.
It is further emerging that the CS failed to do due diligence, which included checking the history of the land before making any payment. The National Assembly on Tuesday heard that the land was actually donated by the government in 1966 for utility reasons.
Long serving Ruaraka High School board chairman Mr John Thuo said in papers, which included an allotment letter and survey maps from surveyors of Kenya, and which he presented to the National Assembly Land Committee, that the land was allocated to the community for social use.
playNLC Chairman Mohamed Swazuri. His house has been swooped by EACC detectives this morning (Courtesy)

“This land belongs to the school. All these years we have been developing the school there has never been any single complaint of ownership,” Mr Thuo told the committee chaired by Kitui South MP Rachael Nyamai. 
The committee is investigating claims of fraudulent acquisition by the two companies and double compensation by the NLC. 
“We have been shooting in the dark. Today, we seem to be getting the right information that will make this committee make an informed decision when writing the report,” Dr Nyamai said.
In response to Dr Matiang’i’s request, NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri promised to ensure that the acquisition is done within the law. 
But the two schools’ principals Agnes Chege (Ruaraka High School) and her Drive- In Primary School counterpart Benjamin Oloo told the committee that NLC did not involve them in the purchase.

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