By Derrick Kiplagat
Cabinet Secretary for Lands Charity Ngilu has claimed that President Uhuru Kenyatta was majorly involved in two of the three land cases that pushed her name onto the Ethics and Anti-Corruption list of shame. The Cabinet Secretary, who has since stepped down from office to pave way for investigations, on Tuesday said the President personally decided to give Mr. Evanson Waitiki Sh. 1 Billion for land invaded by squatters in Likoni.
Ngilu moved on to mention that Mr. Kenyatta sanctioned the government’s takeover of a 2.14 acre on State House Crescent in Nairobi. State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu has, however, said the presidency would not comment on the matter. “We can’t comment on her statement to the EACC. We haven’t seen her statement and we wouldn’t make a statement,” he said.
Ngilu, who was summoned to the Integrity Centre, said that the President was personally involved in the negotiations with Mr. Waitiki for the purchase of his land. She said that it was the President who offered to have the government pay Sh. 1.1 Billion for the land. Ngilu moved on to say that this was agreed upon during a meeting at State House on the presence of treasury Cabinet Secretary Mr. Henry Rotich and Chief of Staff Mr. Joseph Kinyua. Ngilu was also present in this meeting.
The land owner was asking for 9.6 Billion but land valuers from Lands Ministry valued it at 2.64 Billion. In a meeting in 2013, Land and Agriculture Cabinet Secretaries and their principal secretaries and other Settlement Fund Trustees approved the purchase after talks.
Mr. Waitiki declined the Sh.2.64 Billion pay-out offered by the ministry before the President stepped in with the decision to pay him Sh. 1 Billion. Thereafter, Mr. Waitiki further asked for Sh. 100 million more to compensate for the legal fees for his lawyers in his cases against the government. “I communicated this request and the decision to up this offer by an additional Sh. 100 Million was made by the President in my presence and that of Mr. Rotich the Treasury C.S. in December 11th 2014” she said.