FORMER POWERFUL MINISTER AMOS KIMUNYA ARRAIGNED IN COURT.

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Former Cabinet Minister Amos Kimunya,Lillian Njenga formerly Director of Land Adjudication and JunghaeWainaina, the Chairman of the Board of Midlands Limited at Milimani Law Court.

By SAM ALFAN

Former Cabinet Minister Amos Kimunya has arraigned in a Nairobi Anti-corruption Magistrate court to answer abuse of office and land fraud charges over alleged irregular allocation of public land in Nyandarua County.
The former lands minister together with his co-accused Lillian Njenga, formerly Director of Land Adjudication and JunghaeWainaina, the Chairman of the Board of Midlands Limited the company that is alleged to have bought the land in question appeared before acting Chief Magistrate Doreen Mulekyo of the anti-corruption court accused of seven counts of abuse of office and fraud.

Director of Public Prosecutions KeriakoTobiko alleges that Mr Kimunya as Minister for lands and housing and Ms Njenga by then Director of Land Adjudication and settlement on June 30, 2005 used their offices to improperly confer a benefit to Midlands limited company by allocating the company public land known as Nyandarua/Njabini/5852 measuring 25 acres worth Sh60 million contrary to section 46 as read with section 48(1) of the Anti-corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003.

The former Kipipiri MP was also accused that as lands minister whilst knowing that the government was not aware of his private interest in Midlands limited, he failed to disclose that he was a director of the said company and allowed the allocation of the land in question to Midlands limited contrary to the law.

Mr Kimunya and Ms Njenga faced another count of fraudulent disposal of public property where it was alleged that on June 30, 2005 at Ardhi House in Nairobi the two fraudulently disposed of the said land to Midlands limited by issuing a letter of offer and title deed while knowing that the same piece of land was being used as a farmers training center and therefore not available for alienation.

The former minister was further accused of breach of trust by a person employed in the public service contrary to section 127 of the penal code. “ On June 30,2005 being a person employed in the public service as a minister concerned with administration of public land, you committed a breach of trust by disposing off a public property an act which was prejudicial to the public,” Mr Kimunya was told in court.

Mr Kimunya and Ms Njenga faced a separate count of failing to protect public property. The court was told that on the said date at Ardhi House the two failed to protect public property by issuing both a letter of offer and title deed to Midlands Limited yet the said piece of land was not available for alienation.

On his part the JunghaeWainana Chairman of the board of Midlands Limited together with the company were charged with fraudulent acquisition of public property contrary to the law. He was accused that on February 6, 2006 at Ardhi House in Nairobi fraudulently acquired the said land registered in the name of Settlement Fund Trustee.

However, the three pleaded not guilty to all the seven counts. In his submissions, Kimunya’s lawyer MwanikiGachoka pleaded with the court to have his client admitted to bail. “My client has served this country as a cabinet minister for 10 years.

“Despite his status, he is entitled to fair treatment as he was not arrested on Friday but voluntarily drove himself to EACC offices for questioning. He has also voluntarily come to court we request the court to conduct a fair trial and release him on reasonable bond terms,”Gachoka argued.  

Mr Kimunya and his co-accused were directed to deposit cash bail of Sh 1million or a bond of Sh 2 million to secure their freedom. Hearing of the case is set for July 8 with a mention slated for March 31.Kimunya paid the cash bill and was released at 3pm.

The former minister arrest came hours after the Director of Public Prosecutions KeriakoTobiko had authorized charges against him over of abuse of office and fraudulent disposal and acquisition of public property.

 The directive followed an investigation and recommendation by Ethics and Anti- corruption Commission. The detectives picked up Mr Kimunya from a city based hotel last Friday and took him to Integrity Building for statement recording and preparation for prosecution in court.

 

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