Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has requested two weeks to present Parliament with information on the ownership of land identified as Deputy President William Ruto’s state-protected properties.
In response to Nominated MP David Sankok’s request for proof of the land’s connection to Ruto, the CS indicated they had obtained the information from the Lands ministry.
Matiang’i, on the other hand, claimed that the question should have been referred to the Lands Ministry because his response had no influence on the DP’s ownership of the land.
“With tremendous respect, we don’t engage in inaccurate information and politics as public servants. I was asked to answer questions about DP security. I pointed out areas where we have deployed security and not property owned by the DP,” the CS said.
Matiang’i reiterated that his September 1, 2021 statement in Parliament, in which he detailed the DP’s security, had nothing to do with ownership.
“What I presented is areas where we have made deployment. There was no presentation of what the DP owns. We did not insinuate he owns the land.”
“There is correspondence on some of these issues. I don’t want to engage in what would appear like a political issue. I am prepared to bring written information,” the Interior CS added.
He told the National Assembly’s Security Committee, which is chaired by Limuru MP Peter Mwathi, that the Interior Ministry does not have any land records.
“We keep correspondences in relation to posting of police officers. It is the case of the 15,000 acre Mutara farm. The Lands ministry keeps details of the land. As long as our letter is responded to, we will get the detail and present to the committee,” he said.
The committee heard that the Interior ministry wrote to the Lands ministry on October 13, 2021 but the latter is yet to respond.
Matiang’i thus said: “I will table whatever the committee requires in respect of this issue. This is public information.”
Even though the letter was written about six months ago, MPs requested an explanation as to whether someone was napping on the job.
Matiang’i stated that he will send a reminder to the Lands Ministry and expect a response as soon as feasible.
“We will expedite the process. We will cause a ministerial meeting to discuss a way forward. I undertake to cause my colleagues to move fast,” he said.
Sankok, on the other hand, accused the CS of providing false information.
“Where did you get information that the land is owned by DP? If you can say it is owned and now you’re saying you don’t have the detail, where did you get the information?”
“Such pronouncement by the CS that the DP owns the land attracts public interest. He should just tell us he lied, he doesn’t have the information and knows not who owns the land. He can as well withdraw and apologise to the DP. If you have evidence, table it now,” he said.
Some members said that the question was improperly brought before the committee and that it should have been sent to the Ministry of Lands.
“The question seems to have been misplaced. Question is asking for land details which as the CS indicated, is in the Lands docket. This question should have been directed to the Lands Ministry,” Teso North MP Oku Kaunya said.