Monday, February 4, 2013

Title deed in Ruto land deal fake, says official

Gilbert Adrian Muteshi at the Milimani law courts on July 23, 2012. Principal Lands administration officer Silas Kiogera Mburugu says there were inconsistencies in the transfer of the land from Mr Muteshi to Mr Ruto, as the documents used were not genuine. Photo/PAUL WAWERU

Gilbert Adrian Muteshi at the Milimani law courts on July 23, 2012. Principal Lands administration officer Silas Kiogera Mburugu says there were inconsistencies in the transfer of the land from Mr Muteshi to Mr Ruto, as the documents used were not genuine. Photo/PAUL WAWERU  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By PAUL OGEMBA [email protected]

A senior Lands ministry official has said documents used to transfer a 100-acre piece of land belonging to an internally displaced person to former Eldoret North MP William Ruto were forged.

Principal Lands administration officer Silas Kiogera Mburugu on Monday testified that there were inconsistencies in the transfer of the land from Mr Adrian Gilbert Muteshi to Mr Ruto, as the documents used were not genuine.

Mr Mburugu told Lady Justice Rose Ougo that under normal circumstances, the documents were supposed to be signed by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary as the only trustee in charge of settlement schemes.

“When the land records were brought to our office, there was nothing to show payment was received for its transfer and the officer alleged to have executed the transfer was not based at the Eldoret Lands office,” said Mburugu.

The officer reiterated that they only recognised the title issued to Mr Muteshi in 1989 after he cleared payment of the land allocated to him in 1968 and that there was no single occasion when the title was cancelled or issued to another person.

He dismissed claims that the Eldoret Lands office colluded with some people to fake the title deed.

Mr Mburugu said the ministry had launched investigations to establish who colluded with the public to transfer the land and clarified that the titles allegedly issued to Mr Ruto are invalid.

He added that it would have not been possible for Ms Dorothy Jemutai Yator who allegedly sold the land to Mr Ruto to own the 100-acre plot since she was only six years old by the time it is alleged she acquired the land.

Hearing was adjourned to February 19.

He said that Ms Yator was a victim of misrepresentation and forgery since she was not the person whose picture was attached to the land documents when it was transferred to Mr Ruto.

Another witness Hosea Kibet said he is the one who conducted a search on the land’s owners upon the request of Mr Ruto.

Mr Kibet, who said he is a close friend of Mr Ruto testified that when the former MP wanted to buy the land, he requested him to establish the real owners and arrange for a meeting with them.

“My instructions were to find the sellers and when I went to the land’s office in Eldoret, I found two people with six titles. They confirmed to me the titles were genuine after which I arranged for a meeting in Nairobi,” said Kibet.

He added that he was not involved in negotiating for the land price and the only time he took some money to the sellers was when Mr Ruto visited the constituency and gave him Sh600,000 to pay as the last instalment for the transaction.

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