23 May 2013

Kenyatta, Moi Seized 17 Percent of White Farms - TJRC

Photo: Capital FM
Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission Chairman Bethwel Kiplagat fears report maybe rejected (file photo).

PRESIDENT Jomo Kenyatta and his successor President Daniel arap Moi grabbed 17 percent of white owned land after independence, according to the TJRC report released on Tuesday.

"One sixth of the settler lands were found to have been sold intact to the emerging African elite comprising Kenyatta, his wife, children and close associates. These elites did not even need much money to buy settler farms, as they were also able to raise loans from government bodies such as the Agricultural Finance Corporation and the Land and Agriculture Bank," says the report.

The report named Daniel arap Moi, Mbiyu Koinange, Ronald Ngala, Oginga Odinga, Gikonyo Kiano, J.M. Kariuki, Masinde Muliro and Paul Ngei as among Kenyatta's associates who benefited from cheap land allocations.

"By 1965, Kenyatta is reported to have been using his position as president to buy numerous settler farms in the White Highlands and also excising and allocating to himself and family government forest in Kiambu," it says.

Further, he personally approved the purchase of large farms by his family, exempting the transactions from review by the respective Land Control Boards. His family acquired vast farms in Nakuru, Njoro and Rongai in the Rift Valley.

"The president and his family owned several beach plots and hotels on the Coast where, as many African communities lost their land, first, to Arabs and later to Europeans, rendering many landless, to this day," said the report.

The report says that the President and his family had more than eleven properties at the Coast by 1972, including hotels in addition to those he owned through proxies. Mombasa Municipal Council waived all land rates due on his property in that year.

Despite the land shortage in Taita Taveta, Kenyatta partnered with the Basil Criticos family to establish a large sisal plantation leaving many families as squatters. Criticos owned 30,000 acres but Kenyatta's parcel was bigger, according to the report.

It says the President issued a decree barring the sale of any beach plots without his permission:

"His objective was to control the lands and direct their transactions in his favour, through irregular land transactions that were overseen by the then Coast Provincial Commissioner Eliud Mahihu," it says.

Kenyatta reportedly allocated a lot of land at the beach and the coast in Likoni, Waitiki Farm, Casalak in Diani, Msambweni and Lunga Lunga to himself, his family, his relatives and friends.

Among the beneficiaries listed by the TJRC report are former Eliud Mahihu, Isaiah Mathenge, Matu Wamae, John Michuki, Beth Mugo, John G. Mburu, Charles Koinange, Isaiah Cheluget, Paul Boit and Simon Nyachae.

The report says many of the land allocation beneficiaries served as PCs and were sons of former colonial home guards or chiefs. When Moi became president in 1978, the report says that he resorted to massive allocations of unalienated government land and other real property in "virtually every part of the country." "To facilitate unquestioned dealings in land, Moi re-organized key ministries, including the Ministry of Lands and Settlement and the Ministry of Defence by placing his cronies, mostly members of his ethnic Kalenjin community in strategic positions," it says.

They then engaed in massive illegal acquisition of lands owned by the Agricultural Development Corporation, forest lands including in the Mau Forest, protected wildlife areas, wildlife migration corridors, public beaches, government houses and lands reserved for public utilities across the country.

The report also mentions former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka among a list of 446 prominent persons implicated in human rights violations, ethnic clashes, land grabbing and recommended for either prosecution or investigations.

Musyoka allegedly participated in the funding of an illegal gang 'Kabuithu" which evicted over 2000 Tharaka families. He allegedly awarded himself a large tract of deserted land at Tholoni. His allies Senator David Musila and Leader of Minority Francis Nyenze were also named in the report.

Nyenze is accused of illegal excision of 3000 acres of Hombe forest which was illegally allocated to himself and others when he was a minister. Musila is accused in the report of the eviction of residents in Nzalae while serving as the chairman of Nzalae Group Ranchers in early 1980s.

Senator Samuel Moroto should be prosecuted by the Director of Public Prosecution over alleged incitement in Kasarani in 2007, says the report.

Embu Governor Nyagah Wambora should be prosecuted for involvement in the torture and ill-treatment of Mwakenya suspects in the 1980s, the report says. Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala could be prosecuted for incitement to violence in 2007/8, according to the report.

Commission for Revenue Allocation chairman Micah Cheserem was liable for land grabbing in the 1990s. MP Joseph Nkaissery is adversely mentioned over a military operation in Pokot in 1984.

"The operation was also spearheaded with rape and beating of the locals. The disarmament exercise resulted in deaths of civilians in what has come to be known as Lotiriri massacre," it says.

Others recommended for prosecutions over past violations are Senator GG Kariuki, MP Samuel Moroto, former MP Petkay Miriti, Alfred Khang'ati, Joshua Kuttuny, Njenga Mungai, John Serut, Fred Kapondi, farmer Jackson Kibor, former PC Francis Sigei, former Police boss Shadrack Kiruki, former PS Internal Security James Mathenge, former PC Joseph Kaguthi, former PC Benson Kaaria

Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Board chairman Sharad Rao is adversely named in the report for his part in the controversial trials of alleged plotters and conspirators of the 1982 coup. The DPP has been asked to investigate him.

The TJRC said former Chief Justice Bernard Chunga was unfit to hold any office over unfair Mwakenya trials while Brig Joseph Musomba, chair of the court martial that tried the 82 coup plotters, should be investigated over infringement of fair trial guarantees.

Others adversely mentioned are former CID director Noah arap Too, former minister William ole Ntimama, former MP Norman Nyagah, former MPs Peter Kiilu, Kalembe Ndile, Lucas Chepkitony, former ministers Zachary Onyonka, Hussein Maalim, Sally Kosgey, Henry Kosgey, John Keen, member of the Police Service Commission Shadrack Muiu, CIC Commissioner Philemon Mwaisaka and Lazarus Sumbeiywo.

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