Individuals who swindled Embakasi Ranching Company shareholders will be pursued and prosecuted, Land Chief Administrative Secretary Gideon Mung’aro said yesterday.
He led an exercise to verify the shareholders’ documents at the troubled company’s offices in Embakasi. “We have brought enough staff here. We have 20 desks set up. They are cleaning documents as well as scrutinising records and numbers,” Mung’aro said.
He said even though his ministry does not have evidence to nail the culprits, action will be taken. “When we reach a point where we are having a problem, we will hand over to the relevant authorities,” Mung’aro said.
On May 30, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered Land CS Faridah Karoney and the Nairobi county government to ensure all the shareholders and those who bought land through the firm get title deeds.
Reign of cartels
The ranch has been held hostage by cartels, which include influential and wealthy politicians who have been evicting genuine landowners and allocating the land to tycoons. People have been killed and injured because of multiple allocations.
The ranch was established in 1975 with shareholders mainly from Kiambu and Murang’a. Many of them have since died.
The company was to wind up in February, but the government gave the title deeds directive.
Company chairman Sammy Kungu yesterday urged Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji to order a probe. He said the company initially had 3,500 shareholders and 24,000 acres.
Most of the shareholders who turned up yesterday were in their eighties. They came armed with worn documents. Details being verified included names of beneficiaries and directors.
Mung’aro urged those with complaints to report them with officers camping at the company. He said if the documents are genuine, shareholders will get them back.
A shareholder who talked with the Star said she feared sharing information as her safety was at stake. “There are several cartels. Some information might compromise our safety,”
She owns two plots, both of which have been grabbed by a private developer. Cases of double allocation are common. Kungu said they agreed that each shareholder will receive three acres and two plots.
Njiru deputy county commissioner Joseph Mwangi said they will ensure each shareholder gets his or her rightful share.
“We are asking people to go and verify their documentation at the office of Embakasi Ranching to see that their plots are matching with the names. Thereafter, we will take them to the land,” he said.
Mwangi, who also serves as the chairman of subcounty security committee, warned against lawlessness. “In case you have any threat, I’m requesting them to report to me or nearest police station,” the officer said.