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Land ministry eyes 600 employees in anti-graft purge

 Ardhi House in Nairobi
Ministry of Lands head officer Ardhi House in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Lands ministry is targeting 600 staffers in a corruption purge as it moves to redeem its public image.

Lands Chief Administrative Secretary Gideon Mung’aro said the ministry was targeting employees found to lack integrity as well as those who do not meet the benchmarks of performance.

“We will then further investigate all the suspended officers and those deemed to be beyond redemption will be sacked. This … will cut across all our departments, the registries and the survey departments will bear the brunt of the crackdown,” he said.

Mr Mung'aro told the Business Daily that the ministry will also shuffle its staff who have 'overstayed' in workstations.

He said a staff audit revealed that some officers had served in one workstation for over 15 years, saying the long stay had bred the environment for cartels to thrive.

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The ministry has been transferring staff with questionable integrity to other workstations as a way to punish the errant workers.

But the ministry, Mr Mung’aro said, has resolved to drop the practice in favour of job termination.

Stern measures

“We have been transferring those adjudged to be lazy, joyriders, corrupt and inept to other stations. That is why we have been finding it hard to deal decisively with all those negatives … But we are now taking the bull by the horns. We are taking stern measures against all those unfit to serve,” he said.

The ministry has over the years been repeatedly ranked among the most corrupt public institutions. A source said the ministry there was goodwill to ensure the anti-corruption drive cleans up the ministry’s public image.

“We have owned up that we are home to some fraudulent land transactions. We are aware that so far we have over 7,000 complaints against the Ministry that have been filed by citizens. These are cases of our officers colluding with fraudsters. We have numerous cases of double allocations, forged land documents, fraudulent transfers of people’s land, missing files,” he said.

He said the biggest threat was cases where land files are hidden by officers so that they can create temporary cover (TC) files to reallocate people’s land.

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