Kimunya not off the hook yet in land fraud case


Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG

The High Court has overturned the release of former Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya who was accused of fraudulently transferring 25 acres of land belonging to the government to a private company.

Mr Kimunya was then the Minister for Lands and Housing and was charged with abuse of office and conflict of interest among other charges, over the transfer of the land in Nyandarua County, which had been set aside for the Ministry of Agriculture for seed multiplication and also acted as a farmers training centre.

Mr Kimunya together with the former director of Land Adjudication and Settlement at the Ministry Ms Lilian Njenga and Junghae Wainaina, an official of Midlands Ltd had been acquitted by anti-corruption chief magistrate Felix Kombo stating that the prosecution failed to call a crucial witness in the trial.

“The court is satisfied that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against the accused persons,” Justice Esther Maina said. 

The judge directed the former National Assembly Majority leader and his co-accused to present themselves before chief magistrate Lawrence Mugambi on October 11, for directions on the defence hearing.

The judge said the trio will be put on defence on six counts after quashing one of the charges, which she noted was defective. 

While acquitting them in May 2020, Mr Kombo noted that the complainant--the Ministry of Agriculture-- failed to table documents to prove that it owned the land.

According to the Magistrate, the Ministry of Agriculture had been pursuing a title deed to the land in Njabini but failed to get the title.

When he testified in the trial, former Agriculture Minister Kipruto Kirwa denied claims that he consented to the transfer of the public land Midlands Ltd.

Midlands ltd was a public company incorporated in 1987. It has 1496 shareholders among them late President Mwai Kibaki, the late Mama Lucy Kibaki, self-help groups and companies mainly from Kinangop area.