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Thousands to lose homes as bullet factory gets land back

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Hundreds of Kenyans who had grabbed military land are now counting losses after the National Land Commission revoked their titles.

Among those set to part with 4,000 acres of land in Eldoret alone is the little-known entity, claiming to represent squatters-Leseru Tebeson Farmers.

NLC by the stroke of a pen has recommended to the chief registrar to revoke the title before vesting the land to the Principal Secretary of Defence, Torome Saitoti.

The Commission in its findings noted that the land was originally allocated to the ministry of Defence and reserved as Eldoret military camp where the 9 Kenya Rifles battalion(9KR) and Recruits Training school(RTS).

Kenya Ordinance Factories Corporation (KOFC) and buffer zones are also housed there.

KOFC is a State Corporation under the Ministry of State for Defence mandated to manufacture Hardware, Machinery and Equipment.

During the hearing, NLC was shocked to find that the military which has tanks, guns, jet fighters, helicopter gunships and lots of bullets had lost thousands of acres country wide.

During the hearing, the military was categorical that it has not surrendered any of its land to anyone.

The military remains one of the largest land owners in the country, an incentive that might have encouraged private developers.

Disturbed by land grabbing, Defence ministry complained to NLC through three letters.

It wrote to NLC September 6,2018 via letter Ref:MOD/28/18 A and September 18, 2018 via a letter whose reference is Ref:MOD/28/18 A.

The ministry also wrote another letter September 27 complaining that some private individuals have hived off their land without their consent.

This is despite that was acquired from private individuals by compulsory acquisition under the provisions Land Act in 1970s and early 1980s.

“Indeed the land was compulsorily acquired by the government by gazette notices numbers 2878 and 2879 of 24th September, 1976, gazette notices numbers 710 and 711 of 18th March, 1977, gazette notices numbers 110 and 111 of 19th January, 1979 amended by Corrigenda of 11th May 1979,”NLC says dealing a major blow to those claiming the parcel.

NLC derives its mandate from the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the National Land Policy (2009) and acts of Parliament, namely the National Land Commission (NLC) Act, the Land Act and the Land Registration Act, all of 2012.

Its broad mandate includes managing of public land on behalf of the national and county governments.

It also initiate investigations, on its own initiative or on a complaint, into present or historical land injustices, and recommend appropriate redress.

The term of the current NLC is set to come to an end February 19.

NLC also waded into Military land that has also been grabbed in other areas such as Nyanyuki, Samburu and Karen, near Deputy President’s official residence.

During the hearings at the Commission’s Annex Offices, the county government of Uasingishu expressed interest in Leseru Tebeson matter.

The Commission was told during the hearing that former President Daniel Moi had in 2000 directed that KDF cede some of the land to settle squatters.

Following the directive, the interested party said, KDF agreed to surrender 4,236.25769 acres(1,714.39 hectares) from its Eldoret land to Buheba and Kamagut settlement schemes.

KDF was then left with a total of 11,988.84 acres of land.

However, the land according to the interested party has never been degazetted and military is still in use of the land.

KDF during the hearing told the commission that a group known as Leseru Tebeson Farmers Self Help group alias Leseru Tebeson Limited and Leseru Tebeson Farmers Society began emerging from nowhere to claim ownership.

Leseru Tebeson Farmers Society claimed they were allocated the parcel through an allotment letter Ref 52945/133 dated February 2006, as squatter upgrading scheme.

They told NLC that they paid requisite amount of Sh 11,826,21 through a cheque No. 082854 and issued with receipt No. 52942 dated June 2,2006.

The group claimed that they were issued with a title deed registered as IR No. 194659 February 23, 2018.

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The title, they claimed, was surrendered to Chief land registrar for subdivision into several parcels, the same is still on the process to date.

Eleven Kiplombe farms also had interest in the military land.

The 11 farms whose members are over 19,000 with an average of three acres each were also casualties of NLC’s probe, as their titles were also revoked.

The farms include Kiplombe farm limited, Kanetic farm, Kapng’etuny farm,Bhemba,Kapkeben,Emdin,Cheplasgei,Tikito,Kapsamoo,Songoliet, and Lewa Downs farm limited.

They told NLC that they legally acquired the parcel and they have been utilizing it ever since.

NLC would however hear none of their explanations.

In a similar strike of a pen, NLC dealt a major blow to Gituamba Enterprises limited, after recommending for revocation of its title.

The Military wrote letters Ref MOD/28/18 A dated September 6,2018, MOD/28/18 A September 18 and another one Ref MOD 28/18 A dated September 27.

It complained that their land within Kabete military camp had been hived off by private developers.

“The Commission recommends the Chief land registrar to revoke the titles purportedly owned and registered to Gituamba Enterprises limited as they fall within Kabete military camp,”NLC says.

Interestingly, Gituamba Enterprises limited did not appear before the commission but instead sent written submissions through Wambugu and Muriuki advocates.

They claimed that the property was acquired in full compliance of the law.

Gituamba said that they were issued with a letter of allotment by letter dated December 13, 1991 before making payments worth Sh 104,000.

The lawyers said they requested the commissioner of land to grant approval for subdivisions of the plot into three equal parcels through a letter dated June 23, 1992.

On February 28, 1995, the lawyers said,the commissioner of lands allotted parcel numbers 209/12345,209/12346 and 209/12345 to them.

Gituamba said an application of a new grant over the parcel was received at the department of lands, central registry before grants was prepared and fully registered May 26,1995.

They also submitted that they have been in boundary feud with the Defence over boundary issues.

Near Deputy President’s residence in Karen, 32 land ownership documents have been revoked as they are in military land.

Fearing for the worst, interested parties too kept off the hearings despite several attempts to summon them

Only, the military came out to defend their land whose original number is 23047.

“The Commission directs that Chief land registrar revokes the listed parcels and vest the land to PS treasury to hold in trust for the Kenya military,”NLC says.

A similar fate in what will be one of a major trump by the Kenya Defence forces,has hit Mount Kenya Self Help Group.

The Defence complained to NLC through three letters Ref MOD/28/18 A dated September 6,2018, MOD/28/18 A September 18 and another one Ref MOD 28/18 A dated September 27.

The land in question measures approximately 1,877.96 acres (760 hectares) in Kwa Mbuzi area, Nyanyuki.

Mount Kenya Self Help Group just like Gituamba did not show up during the hearings.

Aware of the awaiting fate, they did not attempt to submit copies of their submissions even after NLC made several attempts to reach them through Newspaper advertisements.

“The land was reserved for ministry of Defence as Nyanyuki military camp vides gazette notice No. 212 of 27th March, 1957,”NLC says.

The Commission says a letter of allotment Ref No. 189464 of 18th October 2000 was issued by the Commissioner of Lands to military.

“The Commission recommends that the purported subdivisions and or titles issued in respect of portions of this land are null and void and shall be expunged from records, if any, held by the Nyanyuki Land Registrar,”NLC says.

In a boundary dispute pitting Defence and Losesia group ranch in Samburu, NLC directed the two to look for independent surveyor to verify the issue.

They have since settled the matter with the ranch undertaking to surrender the title for excision of the encroaching area on military land.

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Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’

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Bank of Credit and Commerce International. August 1991. [File, Standard]

“This bank would bribe God.” These words of a former employee of the disgraced Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) sum up one of the most rotten global financial institutions.
BCCI pitched itself as a top bank for the Third World, but its spectacular collapse would reveal a web of transnational corruption and a playground for dictators, drug lords and terrorists.
It was one of the largest banks cutting across 69 countries and its aftermath would cause despair to innocent depositors, including Kenyans.
BCCI, which had $20 billion (Sh2.1 trillion in today’s exchange rate) assets globally, was revealed to have lost more than its entire capital.
The bank was founded in 1972 by the crafty Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi.
He was loved in his homeland for his charitable acts but would go on to break every rule known to God and man.
In 1991, the Bank of England (BoE) froze its assets, citing large-scale fraud running for several years. This would see the bank cease operations in multiple countries. The Luxembourg-based BCCI was 77 per cent owned by the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  
BoE investigations had unearthed laundering of drugs money, terrorism financing and the bank boasted of having high-profile customers such as Panama’s former strongman Manual Noriega as customers.
The Standard, quoting “highly placed” sources reported that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed Sultan would act as guarantor to protect the savings of Kenyan depositors.
The bank had five branches countrywide and panic had gripped depositors on the state of their money.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would then move to appoint a manager to oversee the operations of the BCCI operations in Kenya.
It sent statements assuring depositors that their money was safe.
The Standard reported that the Sheikh would be approaching the Kenyan and other regional subsidiaries of the bank to urge them to maintain operations and assure them of his personal support.
It was said that contact between CBK and Abu Dhabi was “likely.”
This came as the British Ambassador to the UAE Graham Burton implored the gulf state to help compensate Britons, and the Indian government also took similar steps.
The collapse of BCCI was, however, not expect to badly hit the Kenyan banking system. This was during the sleazy 1990s when Kenya’s banking system was badly tested. It was the era of high graft and “political banks,” where the institutions fraudulently lent to firms belonging or connected to politicians, who were sometimes also shareholders.
And even though the impact was expected to be minimal, it was projected that a significant number of depositors would transfer funds from Asian and Arab banks to other local institutions.
“Confidence in Arab banking has taken a serious knock,” the “highly placed” source told The Standard.
BCCI didn’t go down without a fight. It accused the British government of a conspiracy to bring down the Pakistani-run bank.  The Sheikh was said to be furious and would later engage in a protracted legal battle with the British.
“It looks to us like a Western plot to eliminate a successful Muslim-run Third World Bank. We know that it often acted unethically. But that is no excuse for putting it out of business, especially as the Sultan of Abu Dhabi had agreed to a restructuring plan,” said a spokesperson for British Asians.
A CBK statement signed by then-Deputy Governor Wanjohi Murithi said it was keenly monitoring affairs of the mother bank and would go to lengths to protect Kenyan depositors.
“In this respect, the CBK has sought and obtained the assurance of the branch’s management that the interests of depositors are not put at risk by the difficulties facing the parent company and that the bank will meet any withdrawal instructions by depositors in the normal course of business,” said Mr Murithi.
CBK added that it had maintained surveillance of the local branch and was satisfied with its solvency and liquidity.
This was meant to stop Kenyans from making panic withdrawals.
For instance, armed policemen would be deployed at the bank’s Nairobi branch on Koinange Street after the bank had announced it would shut its Kenyan operations.
In Britain, thousands of businesses owned by British Asians were on the verge of financial ruin following the closure of BCCI.
Their firms held almost half of the 120,000 bank accounts registered with BCCI in Britain. 
The African Development Bank was also not spared from this mess, with the bulk of its funds deposited and BCCI and stood to lose every coin.
Criminal culture
In Britain, local authorities from Scotland to the Channel Islands are said to have lost over £100 million (Sh15.2 billion in today’s exchange rate).
The biggest puzzle remained how BCCI was allowed by BoE and other monetary regulation authorities globally to reach such levels of fraudulence.
This was despite the bank being under tight watch owing to the conviction of some of its executives on narcotics laundering charges in the US.
Coast politician, the late Shariff Nassir, would claim that five primary schools in Mombasa lost nearly Sh1 million and appealed to then Education Minister George Saitoti to help recover the savings. Then BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton condemned it as so deeply immersed in fraud that rescue or recovery – at least in Britain – was out of the question.
“The culture of the bank is criminal,” he said. The bank was revealed to have targeted the Third World and had created several “institutional devices” to promote its operations in developing countries.
These included the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, a British-registered charity.
“It allowed it to cultivate high-level contacts among international statesmen,” reported The Observer, a British newspaper.
BCCI also arranged an annual Third World lecture and a Third World prize endowment fund of about $10 million (Sh1 billion in today’s exchange rate).
Winners of the annual prize had included Nelson Mandela (1985), sir Bob Geldof (1986) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989).
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Tracking and monitoring motor vehicles is not new to Kenyans. Competition to install affordable tracking devices is fierce but essential for fleet managers who receive reports online and track vehicles from the comfort of their desk.

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Agricultural Development Corporation Chief Accountant Gerald Karuga on the Spot Over Fraud –

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Gerald Karuga, the acting chief accountant at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), is on the spot over fraud in land dealings.

ADC was established in 1965 through an Act of Parliament Cap 346 to facilitate the land transfer programme from European settlers to locals after Kenya gained independence.

Karuga is under fire for allegedly aiding a former powerful permanent secretary in the KANU era Benjamin Kipkulei to deprive ADC beneficiaries of their land in Naivasha.

Kahawa Tungu understands that the aggrieved parties continue to protest the injustice and are now asking the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Karuga.

A source who spoke to Weekly Citizen publication revealed that Managing Director Mohammed Dulle is also involved in the mess at ADC.

Read: Ministry of Agriculture Apologizes After Sending Out Tweets Portraying the President in bad light

Dulle is accused of sidelining a section of staffers in the parastatal.

The sources at ADC intimated that Karuga has been placed strategically at ADC to safeguard interests of many people who acquired the corporations’ land as “donations” from former President Daniel Arap Moi.

Despite working at ADC for many years Karuga has never been transferred, a trend that has raised eyebrows.

“Karuga has worked here for more than 30 years and unlike other senior officers in other parastatals who are transferred after promotion or moved to different ministries, for him, he has stuck here for all these years and we highly suspect that he is aiding people who were dished out with big chunks of land belonging to the corporation in different parts of the country,” said the source.

In the case of Karuga safeguarding Kipkulei’s interests, workers at the parastatals and the victims who claim to have lost their land in Naivasha revealed that during the Moi regime some senior officials used dubious means to register people as beneficiaries of land without their knowledge and later on colluded with rogue land officials at the Ministry of Lands to acquire title deeds in their names instead of those of the benefactors.

Read Also: Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme To Undergo Viability Test Before Being Privatised

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“We have information that Karuga has benefitted much from Kipkulei through helping him and this can be proved by the fact that since the matter of the Naivasha land began, he has been seen changing and buying high-end vehicles that many people of his rank in government can’t afford to buy or maintain,” the source added.

“He is even building a big apartment for rent in Ruiru town.”

The wealthy officer is valued at over Sh1.5 billion in prime properties and real estate.

Last month, more than 100 squatters caused scenes in Naivasha after raiding a private firm owned by Kipkulei.

The squatters, who claimed to have lived on the land for more than 40 years, were protesting take over of the land by a private developer who had allegedly bought the land from the former PS.

They pulled down a three-kilometre fence that the private developed had erected.

The squatters claimed that the former PS had not informed them that he had sold the land and that the developer was spraying harmful chemicals on the grass affecting their livestock and homes built on a section of the land.

Read Also: DP Ruto Wants NCPB And Other Agricultural Bodies Merged For Efficiency

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua later issued a statement warning the squatters against encroaching on Kipkuleir’s land.

“They are illegally invading private land. We shall not allow the rule of the jungle to take root,” warned Mutua.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee recently demanded to know identities of 10 faceless people who grabbed 30,350 acres of land belonging to the parastatal, exposing the rot at the corporation.

ADC Chairman Nick Salat, who doubles up as the KANU party Secretary-General, denied knowledge of the individuals and has asked DCI to probe the matter.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard

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Deputy President William Ruto will next month take his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns to his main rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in an escalation of the 2022 General Election competition.

Acrimonious fall-out

Development agenda

Won’t bear fruit

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