After our expose last week in which Lands cabinet secretary Farida Karoney was urged to dismantle a network of corrupt registrars at the Ardhi House central registry which was said to be regrouping back, more revelations have cropped up on the dealings of the group.
Our source at the Lands ministry said some officers led by Betty Otieno have invented uncouth means of operation at Ardhi House where they defy some directions on how work is done and even do not report to work stations where some of their colleagues work at.
A good example according to our informer who sought anonymity over this story as his rank is not authorised to give press statements to the press, all land registrars from the headquarters were from Monday, May 27 to Friday, May 31 required to sign land titles at the Survey of Kenya but Otieno and a few of his cronies defied this directive and instead chose to work from the ministry headquarters.
“When there are so many titles and need to be signed out instead of us working at Ardhi House, we are all required to report at the Survey of Kenya but surprisingly Ms Otieno and few of our colleagues who are very close to her chose to do their work at Ardhi House and we suspect at this time they have an ample time to conceal some people’s files and delay the issuance of title deeds to them,” said another frustrated registrar.
During this period of the signing of land titles of different areas of the country Otieno is reported to have been seen having lunch with one of the senior HR managers at the ministry at Fairview Hotel and is reported to have boasted to some junior registrars that she is going nowhere till five years are over and whoever wants her to be transferred will be in rude shock as he or her dreams will not come true.
CS Karoney has been praised in some quarters at the ministry for having been able to put to an end a ruthless cartel at Ardhi House led by a senior registrar Sarah Maina last year who was transferred to Eldoret, the headquarters of Uasin Gishu county last year after an outcry over her involvement in corrupt activities.
Her headache now is that after Maina and some corrupt officials were sent on transfer by Karoney following a public outcry some of the cartel who were sympathetic to Maina have reemerged and are frustrating wananchi by hiding land files in safe until they are bribed in tune of millions of shillings. The cartel now allegedly spearheaded by Otieno has a Peter Chelelgo in it.
The game of hiding files at Ardhi House has made overnight millionaires through their involvement in dubious businesses that have become so lucrative and many do not want reporting to new stations they are posted to.
Land has seen people in the country lose their lives and some injured as they fight for their right and even seen several people among them government officials land in court due to their dealings with corruption.
Former chairman of National land Commission Muhamad Swazuri, former and current officials of the commission together with other individuals have cases pending at Milimani Court over SGR compensation.
Politicians too have not been left out in matters related to land cases a good example is of Nakuru East MP David Gikaria who was early this year arrested over a land fraud-related case.
His Nakuru Town West counterpart Samuel Arama is also battling a court case at Milimani Anti-Corruption Court over a transaction involving a disputed piece of land.
He faced six counts of abuse of office, conspiracy to defraud, making a document without authority and uttering a document with intent to deceive.
He together with Nakuru Land Registry officer unlawfully and deceitfully influenced illegal registration and issuance of a certificate of lease of the disputed land to someone else, who has since disowned it.
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