Parliament directs special audit on ADC land grab

Finance Bill

Members of the National Assembly during a sitting. FILE PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

Parliament has directed the Auditor-General to conduct a forensic audit on the disposal of thousands of acres of land belonging to the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) that was acquired by powerful individuals within successive governments.

The National Assembly’s Public Investment Committee on Social Services and Agriculture wants Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu to probe how ADC land ended up in the hands of private individuals.

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The committee chaired by Navakholo MP Emanuel Wangwe expressed concern over the wanton grabbing of ADC land and property by powerful individuals in government.

“We need a special audit or a commission of inquiry into how prime ADC land was allocated to Cabinet ministers, Principal Secretaries, members of provincial administration, and other top government individuals for a song,” Mr Wangwe said.

“It is evident from your submissions that ADC is not sure of what will happen to its land going forward. The Cabinet Secretaries for Agriculture and Lands seem unable to do anything as grabbers alienate the corporation land.”

Mr Wangwe said the committee will in the meantime summon Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi to appear alongside ADC acting MD Mohammed Bulle to shed light on the extent of loss.

Mr Bulle told the committee that thousands of acres belonging to the State corporation in Trans Nzoia, Nandi, Nakuru, and the Coast had been hived off, subdivided, and dished out to rich individuals.

“We have an individual, former Vice Chancellor Philip Mbithi, who was allocated 6,000 acres and former Treasury Permanent Secretary Charles Mbindyo who got 10,000 acres who have not finalised payment for the property,” Mr Bulle said while responding to audit queries.

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“The Ngata farm, measuring 32,000 acres is a clear case where the land was dished out to powerful individuals. We cannot salvage that land.”

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