- EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak said there was a need to review land laws so as to seal weaknesses that were being exploited by criminals.
- He noted that there was an increase in land grabbing, use of fake titles and eviction of genuine landowners.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has raised the red flag over the rise of fake title deeds leading to eviction of genuine landowners.
The anti-graft agency now wants the land laws reviewed to protect landowners from cartels working with government officers to forcefully take over their land.
In the last couple of months, land disputes and forceful eviction have become common, leaving families counting losses running into millions of shillings.
This emerged at the end of a five-day workshop for senior officers drawn from EACC, office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the parliamentary committee on Justice and Legal Affairs in Naivasha.
EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak said there was a need to review land laws so as to seal weaknesses that were being exploited by criminals.
He noted that there was an increase in land grabbing, use of fake titles and eviction of genuine landowners by criminals in collusion with public officials.
“There is an urgent need to review the current Land Act so that we can safeguard public land from grabbing and this can be achieved through automation of all land registries,” he said.
Speaking at the end of the retreat, Twalib noted that graft had messed up the education sector through examination cheating and fake certificates.
He said that EACC had proposed that the government creates an online portal for ease of verification of academic certificates by employers.
The CEO added that corruption and unethical conduct were most prevalent in procurement of goods, services and works by public entities.
“There is a need to seal corruption loopholes by putting in place mechanisms aimed at enhancing accountability and transparency,” he said.
On his part, the chair of the commission Bishop David Oginde called on the National Assembly to expedite enactment of the Conflict of Interest Bill, 2023 and Whistle-blower Protection Bill, 2023.
He said EACC wanted the laws amended to allow timeframes for hearing of graft cases and create enforcement mechanisms for integrity requirements.
Oginde added that the proposed amendments of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003, would weaken an already fragile legal framework.
The chairperson admitted that the commission needed more technical staff to strengthen and address the escalating challenges of corruption in the country.
“EACC needs a budgetary allocation to promptly employ 600 experts as technical staff including lawyers, forensic investigators, surveyors and accountants,” he said.