How Matiang'i Was Duped Into Illegally Buying Ksh1.5B Govt Land

  • On Friday, the high court ruled that the National Land Commission (NLC) misled the Ministry of Education into buying land in Ruaraka.

    The land which Ruaraka High School and Drive Inn Primary School sit on was declared a public land.

    The three-judge bench, Justice Benard Eboso, Elijah Obaga, and Kossy Ber also ruled the payment of Ksh1.5 billion to businessman Francis Mburu for the land was irregular.

    Interior CS Fred Matiang’i was the Education CS at the time of purchase.

    NLC, whose chairman at the time was Muhammad Swazuri, had claimed it searched through the ministry's records and found that it belonged to Mburu.

    The bench, however, found that a search document confirming that the land belonged to Mburu was not conclusive evidence of ownership.

    Mburu had claimed ownership of the 13.77-acre land with the government paying Ksh1.5 billion in down payment for the parcel where two public schools stand.

    "One cannot compulsorily acquire what is already public," the bench declared.

    They also added that the acquisition of land did not meet the threshold and should not have been acquired in the first place.

    Following the preceding occurrences in relation to the compulsory acquisition of the suit property, NLC, through Professor Tom Ojienda, invoked the jurisdiction of the Environment and Lands Court under Section 127 and 128 of the Land Act to determine the validity of the title of LR 7879/4.

    The said sections provide that the commission may at any time refer to the court 'for its determination on any question as to the construction, validity or effect of any instrument, the persons who are interested in the land concerned, the extent or nature of their interest and the persons whom compensation is payable'.