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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,23RD JULY 2018-Education CS Amina Mohammed on Monday appeared before senate public accounts committee investigating the mystery surrounding the controversial Ruaraka Land.
The CS says most basic steps were ignored with most of the procedures that are supposed to be followed when purchasing public land not adhered to.She says Sh3.2 billion land in which two public schools are build was hastily acquired.
She added that due diligence and research should have being carried out before the purchase.
She said a supplementary budget of Sh1.5 billion had to be requested for in order acquire the land.
“The additional Sh1.5 billion that was sought by the ministries was captured under legal dues. It was to settle the payment due to compulsory acquisition of land for Ruaraka High school and Drive- in primary schools,” she said.
However, Amina said it was not unusual to request for additional funding and have it regularised in a supplementary budget.
“It all depends on the need that arises. We will continue to request for resources when there is a need,” she said
Chronology of events
It all begun in 2017 when Education PS Belio Kipsang wrote a letter to the National Treasury on the need to acquire the land under question.
“On November 13, the National Treasury wrote back to the ministry giving the ministry the authority to spend Sh1.5 billion in the compulsory acquisition of the said land,” Amina said.
“The process began in December and funds were reflected in the accounts of the National Lands Commission (NLC) in January.”
She added that it was the commission’s responsibility to pay the complainant of the land as the chair was the one who had initiated this process.
“As soon as the money is transferred to the accounts of the NLC, I think that is the authority of the NLC to pay the complainant,” she said.
“Was the right process followed, I think that will be left to your own judgement as well?”
Amina revealed that Kipsang also wrote a letter on July 19 to NLC on the issue of land ownership, asking for the interests of the school to be protected but it was never responded to.
She also added that there was an evaluation report that was commissioned by the NLC and a different anchorage of land was evaluated at Sh13.774 billion.
Amina said she had not taken any administration action since doing so will be premature, “unless there is evidence that the law was broken.”
“Before we take any step, we have to make sure that we are living within the rule of law and that we are practicing good governance,” the CS told the legislators.
“We don’t think we have all the information that we require,” she said adding that she was shocked to find out that the ministry did not have a respiratory of all the land the government owns, especially schools.
“I wanted to know how schools are protected. We have made
The CS has expressed optimism that the process will be completed within the next 3 months.
She further asked all schools facing challenges with land ownership to come forth with any information to help resolve the same.