How Nairobi City lost Sh173m in cemetery land fraud
A court has been told how former top government officials stole Sh173 million in the controversial purchase of a cemetery land in Mavoko.
The land in Athi River, Mavoko township, was initially valued at sh30 million but was bought for Sh283 million, a top ethics and anti-corruption commission investigator told the court on Wednesday.
“ The Kenyan tax payer lost Sh253 million in the cemetry land deal whose true value is Sh30 million,” said Mr Tabu Lwanga.
The land was intended to be a new graveyard to replace the filled-up Lang’ata Cemetery.
Mr Lwanga said investigations revealed that only Sh110 million was spend on the land and Sh173 million was “stolen by various players in the land transaction.”
He said the loss represents 61 per cent of the money pocketed by those involved in the transaction as opposed to 10 per cent which is usually demanded by those who bid for various deals with the government.
Mr Lwanga said some of the accused persons received a cut of Sh13 million and “acknowledged receipt of the same.”
The testimony elicited a serious protest from defense lawyer Mr Wilfred Nderitu who demanded to be shown the original document that proved the accused person acknowledged receipt of the proceeds.
ABUSE OF OFFICE
Mr Lwanga was testifying in the case in which Mr Kirui , Mr Gakuo, former director legal service in the defunct city coucil of Nairobi Ms Mary Ng’ethe and a director of tender committee have been charged with abuse of office, willful neglect of official duty, giving false documents and presentation of misleading documents.
The witness said that investigations established that the land is stony and cannot be used to bury the dead.
The land was sold to the defunct Nairobi City Council by Naen Rach Limited
He said the tax payer lost the millions in the land which is now lying idle and cannot be used for the purpose it was intended.