By JM Musoma.
Former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama and Former Law Society of Kenya Chairman Eric Mutua are on the spot facing prosecution for a conspirancy to forge Malili land sale agreements and extort the ranch owners about Sh. 0.5 bn. Land was valued at Sh.200,000 per acre but owners were paid 150,000 per acre.
It is this fraudulent land dealings and ongoing court cases that have delayed the implementation of the proposed Konza City in Makueni County.
The stalled technopolis at Malili Kilome Constituency was to be the economic game changer in the continent being the first modern city in Africa. Konza was a vision 2030 flagship project by the grand coalition under the stewardship President Mwai Kibaki his Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
The project has not been actualized a decade down the line due to underlying notorious land cartels in the Lower Eastern. Jubilee regime used this conflict of interest in the compensation of land owners and the disputed demarcation that brewed a boundary row between Machakos and Makueni to slow down the progress.
That is how funds set aside for construction of the city in Ukambani were diverted to the newly constructed Tetu City in Ruiru Kiambu County.
The much touted Sh.1.4 trillion Africa’s Silicon Savanah which shall stand on a 5000 acre former cattle ranch at Malili is now losing interested investors to Rwanda. This is after President Kagame launched the Kigali innovation city that has been under construction since 2015. Kenya has been blackmailed by potential investors over massive corruption.Konza became a thorny issue when Kibaki, Kalonzo and Raila left office.
The petty politics of Ukambani was drawn to scattle this noble development project in the region just to deny Kalonzo the political influence that would have been associated with the success of Konza city. It would create over 200,000 jobs a year.
“Ngilu used her position as CS of Lands in 2014 to gazette Malili in Machakos County to reward Governor Mutua who was seen loyal to Jubilee administration. It was more of an ethnic cleansing affair coz Ukambani was being punished for voting the CORD coalition”.
The plan was to pit Machakos against Makueni County and use the conflict of interest to take the development to Kiambu,then launch the blue print of Machakos City that never was to fool the community.
On the other side a case that involves the change of Malili Ranch ltd officials, hiking land prices and doctoring minutes through the help of the ex-Senator’s office to unlawfully broker compansation process has been deliberately delayed in corridors of justice to deny the community economic prosperity.
The land registered as LR No.9918/3 was the property of Malili Ranch Limited but the original officials were allegedly replaced through a scam by lawyer Eric Mutua and Senator Muthama to decieve government and defraud shareholders Sh.500 million.
“Funny enough the culprit who was a co-acused is now enlisted as a prosecution witness under the recommendations of government’s lawyer, Paul Muite.
Thwake Dam a sister project to Konza was also delayed and Sh.62 billion was diverted to construction of dams in Rift Valley. Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo and his wife almost lost their lives when he questioned the rationale of diverting funds during a ground breaking of Konza in 2015.
“Armed men believed to be policemen acting for state broke into his Karen home and beat the family to their senses warning the legislature to keep of Konza matters.
It took protest by Kilome residents led by their former MP Regina Ndambuki, lobbying by the Makueni We Want Movement and a legislative petition by Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr to return Konza to Makueni. However the naysayers had their way with the development funds and ayes retained their say on boundaries.
On his part Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana ran adverts on two leading news dailies outlining that Kee MCA sits in Makueni County Assembly and the Area Chief answers to Makueni County Commissioner.
Due to the percieved conflict of interest orignating from land in Ukambani the SGR Dry Port which was originally set to be constructed in Kilome Constituency was taken to Naivasha and is now fully functional.
Despite using Sh10 billion since the 2015 horizontal infrastructure like roads, water supply, electricity and sewer lines,have not been compeleted. Konza is now seen as a old government dream with no charm and magic to attract investors locally and globally.
Muthama has been charged alongside former LSK Chairman Eric Mutua, former ICT Cabinet Secretary Mbitange Demo, former Land commissioner Zablon Agwata, Malili directors Julius Maweu Kilonzo, Mr. Nzyuko, National Police commissioner Ronald Musengi,Peter Mutua Kanyi and lawyer Alphonce Munene Mutinda.
The Writer is Human Right Activist, Mr Jm Musoma