key witness in karen land case dies
One of the key witnesses in the Sh8 billion Karen land case has died.
The former Deputy Chief Lands Registrar Geoffrey Birundi passed away last week.
Mr Birundi was the government official who did all the paper work related to the Karen land.
He was among the senior officials mentioned in the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission report presented to President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The report led to the suspension of Land Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu, Sara Njuhi Mwenda, Pauline Wanjiku Gatimu, Mark Muigai Wanderi, Macmilan Mutinda Mutiso and James Mbaluka.
The six are facing charges of conspiracy to transfer the Karen land between 2005 and October 2014.
Mr Birundi was to testify in a case where city businessman Horatius Da Gama Rose, the owner of Muchanga Investments Limited and former National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Managing Trustee Jos Konzolo, the owner of Telesource Ltd are claiming ownership of the 134-acre land.
In August last year, Mr Rose sued Mr Konzolo’s company Telesource Ltd, Habenga Holdings, Jina Enterprises Ltd, and the Ministry of Lands over allegations that they illegally acquired his land.
He claimed that some unknown companies had grabbed his land and were in the process of subdividing it.
According to the businessman, he bought the land from Barclays Bank in 1982 at a cost of Sh1.2 million after the death of the original owner, Mr Arnold Bradley.
Mr Birundi swore an affidavit stating that the land was originally owned by one John Mugo Kamau who legally sold it to Telesource Ltd in 2005.
According to the affidavit, the records at the Ministry of Lands show that Telesource Ltd is the registered proprietor of the land.
However the two companies have different title deeds for the same land.
Mr Birundi stated that Telesource Ltd’s title deed for the land is number LR3586/3 registered as IR31187/1 while Muchanga Ltd’s title is LR3586/3 registered as IR37285.
Source: Daily Nation