EACC recovers Sh3.2bn State properties, including judge's residence in Eldoret

EACC chief executive officer Twalib Mbarak

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) chief executive officer Twalib Mbarak. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • EACC has warned leaders against embezzling public funds meant to mitigate floods in the country.
  • Commission says it is working with Moi University to identify loopholes for graft at the university.

A residential house hosting the Eldoret Environment and Land Court Judge is among Sh3.2 billion of grabbed public property recovered by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, (EACC) in Eldoret Town, Uasin Gishu County.

Most of the grabbed government assets were recovered from companies linked to high-profile individuals, prominent families, and former powerful politicians in the Kanu government, EACC revealed on Wednesday.

At the same time, EACC has revealed that it was conducting system review in universities to prevent corruption, and had begun with Moi University and Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology. 

According to the commission, the grabbed public property in Eldoret belongs to the judiciary, administration police, Uasin Gishu Referral Hospital, county fire station, and County Assembly.

Most of the grabbed government houses are within the posh Elgon View estate, EACC Spokesperson Eric Ngumbi revealed.

Mr Ngumbi said the land was grabbed by private companies owned by high-profile persons, in collusion with corrupt land officials. He said the title deeds for repossessed land were initially in the hands of powerful individuals.

According to the anti-graft body, Ninety-seven other properties worth Sh7.4 billion in Eldoret Town are still in private hands and investigations are ongoing.

He was speaking in Eldoret at a workshop to sensitize Vihiga, Elgeyo Marakwet, and Kisumu County Assemblies on corruption.

“We have repossessed public land worth Sh3.2 billion belonging to the Judiciary, Administration Police, Uasin Gishu Referral Hospital, County Fire Station, and County Assembly. The land we have recovered was grabbed by private companies owned by high-profile persons, in collusion with corrupt land officials,” Mr Ngumbi said, expressing hope of recovering more public utilities.

North Rift EACC Regional Director, Charles Rasugu, said cases of grabbing public land are increasing in the region, and that the commission is doing everything possible to repossess such land to enable Eldoret town to expand ahead of city status.

“Land grabbing in Eldoret is rampant and we are doing everything possible to ensure that such land is reposed to create room for expansion of the town ahead of city status,” said Mr Rasugu.

At the same time, the commission has indicated that it is working with Moi University to help identify loopholes in corruption at the university.

“Our officers have been training Moi University administration on how to seal corruption loopholes through system and infrastructural review,” said Mr Ngumbi.

He accused some universities in the country of contributing to the increase in the forgery of academic certificates to make quick money, warning institutions against watering down the quality of education in the country at the expense of making quick money.

“Some universities are colluding with individuals who have never set foot in class to give them certificates in exchange for money. Such practices are watering down our academic standards of high quality of education,” said Mr Ngumbi.

Mr Ngumbi revealed that EACC is investigating thousands of forged academic certificates, warning public service employees using forged academic papers that their days are numbered.

He said the chain of forging academic certificates starts right away from primary school through secondary through college, noting that whether one has a genuine university certificate or also forged KCPE certificate, all the academic certificates in his possession are considered fake.

This comes at a time when more than ten employees of Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital are facing charges of using fake academic certificates to secure employment at the facility. The case is still active in court.

At the same time, EACC has warned leaders against embezzling public funds meant to mitigate floods in the country.

"We are keenly monitoring how funds meant for flood mitigations are being used and those found embezzling the funds will be arrested and charged accordingly," added Mr Ngumbi.