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October 16, 2018

Matiang’i, Belio ‘abetted’ Ruaraka land cash saga - Senators

Principal Secretary of Education Richard Belio Kipsang when he appeared before the Senate Public Accounts and Investments Committee on the Sh3.3 billion disputed land deal in Ruaraka where  Ruaraka Secondary and Drive in Primary schools sit/FILE
Principal Secretary of Education Richard Belio Kipsang when he appeared before the Senate Public Accounts and Investments Committee on the Sh3.3 billion disputed land deal in Ruaraka where Ruaraka Secondary and Drive in Primary schools sit/FILE

A Senate committee has recommended that Interior CS Fred Matinag’i and Education PS Belio Kipsang should be held responsible for  acquisition of the Sh3.3 billion Ruaraka land by the government.

In an investigative report tabled  yesterday, Senate’s committee on County Public Accounts and Investments gave the DPP and the EACC three months to investigate the two.

If found culpable, they will be prosecuted for violating a report by the Ministry of Education.

It recommended that the land where Ruaraka High and Drive-in schools stand is public and the claimant should not be paid.

Matiang’i was then Education CS. The report was issued by the committee chaired by Homa Bay senator Moses Kajwang.

But yesterday, lawyer Martin Oloo, who was Matiangi’s adviser at the time, dismissed the report.

He accused the Senate of ignoring a court order which ruled that the land belonged to the claimant and should be paid Sh4 billion as compensation.

“Who carries more weight in establishing land ownership; a Ministerial Quality Assurance Committee or a constitutional body that is the National Land Commission?” Oloo said.

He questioned why the Senate chose to investigate the matter yet two other agencies, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the DCI, were investigating the matter.

The report by the Quality Assurance and Standards task force was submitted to Matiang’i and Kipsang on February 3, 2017 — 11 months before the duo approved payment of Sh1.5 billion to city businessman Francis Mburu.

This was part of the Sh3.2 billion the government agreed to pay before the irregularity was pointed out.

The report says the land was surrendered for public use by Drive-In Estate, a sister company to Afrison Import Export Ltd, as a mandatory condition for subdivision of the 96-acre plot.

The five-man team headed by Nairobi regional coordinator of education John Ololtuaa concluded Mburu had no basis to seek compensation for the land.

Read: Senators want Matiang'i, Kipsang investigated for Ruaraka land scandal

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