26 February 2013

Kenya: Raila On the Spot Over Mollasess Plant

Nairobi — CORD presidential candidate Raila Odinga was on Monday night taken to task to explain the ownership and acquisition of the molasses plant.

In his response during a presidential debate, Odinga said the molasses plant was sold through public auction and Spectre International - a company associated with the Odinga family - bought it at the market price, maintaining that there was no corruption.

The acquisition of the molasses plant by Spectre International - a company associated with Prime Minister Raila Odinga is one of the campaign challenges facing the CORD presidential candidate.

Though Odinga maintained the company was acquired legally, his opponents claim the acquisition was fraudulent and should be returned to its rightful owners.

"Proper procedures were followed in the acquisition of the plant and anybody who says otherwise is not being genuine," The PM said in his defence against claims of corruptly acquiring molasses.

Fellow presidential contenders Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee and Martha Karua of Narc Kenya had sought an explanation.

Jubilee Alliance presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta also admitted that his family owns 30,000 acres of land in Taita Taveta County and dared anyone to prove it was acquired illegally.

Kenyatta, who had earlier tactfully sidestepped a challenge by debate co-moderator Joe Ageyo to declare the total acreage owned by the Kenyatta family, gave in to the question after prodding by his rival from Narc-Kenya.

Karua had charged that the Kenyatta family was among the three largest land owners in the county, listing former Taveta MP Basil Criticos and the Kenya Wildlife Service as the others.

It is at this stage that Kenyatta declared that they own 30,000 acres and had recently "donated 4,000 acres to settle squatters," but added other land owners in the district involve several other ranchers.

He stated that the land the Kenyatta's own was acquired through "willing buyer-willing-seller basis."

"My family and I own land; we've not acquired land illegally but through willing buyer-willing seller basis. There is nothing to prove that my family has illegally acquired land."

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