DIRECTORS PAID OVER SH3.2 BILLION FOR FREE SCHOOLS’ LAND RUN TO COURT PROTECTION.

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Director of Hue Lands Limited and Afrison Imports and Exports Limited when he appeared before the senate County Public Accounts and investments Committee on the inquiry into the 3.2 billion shillings Ruaraka land dispute.

BY NT CORRESPONDENT.

Directors of two firms in a controversial Sh3.2 billion city land acquired for construction of Drive In Primary and Ruaraka High Schools want court protection.

Francis Mungai Mburu, Mark Mburu Mungai, Justin Mburu and John Murithi Mutwiri want the court to give them bail pending their arrest.

They say they are victims of extortionists.

Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission says it is conducting investigations into allegations that the directors colluded with National Land Commission officials to be fraudulently compensated Sh3.2 billion for the compulsory acquisition of the land.

According to EACC the parcel had been previously surrendered to the government for construction of Drive-In Primary School and Ruaraka High School in Nairobi.

The aggrieved directors
of African Export Import Ltd and Huelands Ltd said they had reliably learnt that they may be arrested and charged with lawful payments made to their companies.

This is however in contradiction of a judgment entered in their favour by High Court Judge Alfred Mabeya regarding the government’s take-over of the prime property off Thika Super-Highway.

They said the threats of arrest resulted from fabrications and falsehoods peddled by extortionists and interested third parties, through the media and law enforcement agencies, for purposes of blackmail.

The police and the anti-graft agency had been grossly misled into abusing their power to coerce, intimidate and bully the directors to pay the extortionists, they said.

The directors said they were willing to surrender to the due process of the law and were seeking protection from arbitrary arrest, detention and prosecution.

“The applicants are law-abiding citizens and renowned businessmen with vast commercial interests and are willing to co-operate with law enforcement agencies as and when necessary,” they say.

EACC investigator Mark Ndiema explained that preliminary investigations reveal that the land was sub-divided in 1983, upon application by the registered owners on condition that the approved sub-division would be subject to surrender of part of the land to the Government free of cost for use as public Nursery, Primary and Secondary Schools.

The investigations reveal that pursuant to the prescribed conditions relating to the approved sub-division, an allotment letter was issued to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, for un-surveyed secondary school site off Thika road on part of the land.

“EACC is conducting investigations regarding the process leading to the claim for and award of compensation by NLC with regard to the portion of land surrendered by companies associated with the applicants and developed for public Primary and Secondary Schools and not the whole of the property as alleged by the applicants.”

Mr Ndiema says that the agency is handling the probe in a professional manner and the outcome should not be pre-empted or impeded by the four directors and the court.

In case the investigations culminate in the arrest and prosecution of the four men, due process will be followed without violating their fundamental rights and freedoms, he said.

Justice Grace Ngenye Macharia will make a ruling on Thursday.

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