Government Corruption in Africa- Former Kenyan Lands minister Amos Kimunya was Friday arrested and charged with fraud involving land.
Former Lands minister Amos Kimunya was Friday arrested and charged with fraud involving land.
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission officials arrested Mr Kimunya, a one-time blue-eyed boy in former President Kibaki’s government, at Nairobi’s Panafric Hotel shortly after Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko gave the go-ahead for his prosecution.
He was taken to the anti-graft agency offices at Integrity Centre in Nairobi in the early afternoon, cautioned and charged, awaiting appearance in court on Monday.
“Because it is a bailable offence I am sure he will be released to appear in court on Monday,” said commission spokesman Yassin Aila.
For Mr Kimunya, who has publicly insisted he wants to lead a quiet life after losing his Kipipiri parliamentary seat in the last General Election, this is a most unwelcome development.
Mr Tobiko’s directive said Mr Kimunya should be charged alongside former director of Land Adjudication Lilian Njenga and the chairman of the board of M/S Midlands Limited, Mr Junghae Wainaina.
It is alleged that Mr Kimunya, while serving as Lands minister, influenced the allocation of 25 acres in Njabini, Nyandarua County, to M/S Midlands Limited, a food processing firm that processes and packages potatoes.
The land was part of 75 acres belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture and reserved for a potato seed project.
The anti-graft agency report indicated that the former Kipipiri MP was a director and shareholder in the company at the time of the transaction and did not seek the consent of the relevant ministry.
“The DPP is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to prosecute the said persons,” a statement from the office of the DPP, dated March 14, read in part.
Mr Kimunya recently told the Parliamentary Investment Committee investigating the high speed rail from Mombasa to Nairobi and later on to Kampala, Uganda and Kigali in Rwanda, that he was now a private citizen who did not want to be bothered because he had nothing new to offer them.
The session ended in disarray after committee chairman Dujis MP Adan Keynan declared Mr Kimunya a hostile witness following a heated exchange over his role in the multi-billion-shilling project.
The former MP had demanded to know why he had been summoned yet he no longer held public office.
The committee is investigating how China Road and Bridge Corporation was selected to construct the railway without competitive bidding.
Mr Kimunya has served as Transport minister, where he pushed for the withdrawal of 14-seater public service vehicles from major towns in a bid to ease congestion. He has also served in the ministries of Trade and Finance.
He had to resign in 2008, after being involved in the controversial sale of Grand Regency Hotel whose name was later changed to Laico Regency Hotel.
Parliament later cleared him of any wrong-doing.
( Courtesy Daily Nation……Source…….Our Freelance Contributor in Nairobi )