Exposed: CS Mutua raised red flag about Portland land sale in 2015

  1. CS Mutua raised red flag about Portland land sale in 2015

It has now emerged that the former Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua raised the red flag about unprocedural sale of the East Africa Portland Cement land in Machakos County eight years ago.

The controversial sale of the 4,298 acre piece of land has now seen hundreds of families left in the cold after their homes were demolished by government from Friday last week.

In a letter dated November 13, 2015, Mutua wrote to the then Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission CEO Halakhe Waqo asking him to investigate the alleged illegal sale of the land.

“I write to request for an urgent investigation into ongoing corruption and land grabbing of East African Portland Cement Company Limited land L.R. No. 7815/1, 10424, 10425, 8784/4 and 8786 located at Athi River, Mavoko Constituency,” Mutua said in a letter addressed to Waqo.

“The land, leased to East African Portland Cement Company Limited, has started being grabbed, sub-divided and sold, without the knowledge of the East African Portland Cement Company Limited Board and my Government of Machakos.”

Mutua, who is now the Cabinet Secretary in charge of the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, said the Portland Board documents in their possession at the time showed that the leases were far from expiring.

The CS told the EACC boss then that investigations showed that squatters were imported to the land to create a conducive environment for land invasion and grabbing.

“We have been informed that many players are involved and I request that you investigate an MP, officers in the Ministry of Lands, Nairobi, elected leaders and brokers,” Mutua said.

The letter was copied to among other then Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, former Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, former CID boss Ndegwa Muhoro, former NLS chair Muhammed Swazuri and then chairman and director of the East African Portland Cement Company Limited William Lay.

Mutua noted in the letter that people had already bought plots on the land and started construction.

He, however, said his government had not approved the sub-division, planning or building permits for the construction works.

“Many people, we suspect, have been conned. If this matter is not handled expeditiously, we fear that it may culminate in bloodshed,” Mutua warned in the letter.

“We have to fight this Kenyan Cancer of greed and land grabbing and we have faith in your Commission. With your advice, we are ready to hire a professional audit firm to assist in the forensics audit,” the then governor told the EACC boss.

The East African Portland Cement Company Limited land has been the bone of contention between Portland Cement and residents who bought plots.

On Friday, bulldozers descended on dozens of homes at ‘Aimi ma Lukenya’ settlement scheme in Mavoko Constituency and demolished them in the full glare of owners.

A court order issued indicated that the said disputed piece of land belongs to the Portland Cement and not the residents who had occupied it for years.

On October 9, the Environment and Land Court in Machakos struck out a case that had been filed by ‘Aimi ma Lukenya’, who have been laying claim on the prime land measuring 4,298 acres.

Lady Justice A Nyukuri in her ruling noted that Aimi Ma Likenya had failed to serve their documents to the defendants as ordered by the court.

Leaders have come to the defence of Mavoko residents saying the demolitions are inhumane.

The government has nonetheless ignored the pleas and continued demolishing homes.

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