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Anti-graft court clears Kimunya in land transfer case

Wednesday May 20 2020
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Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya when he appeared anti-corruption court Senior Principal Magistrate Felix Kombo on May 20, 2020. He was acquitted of charges of allocating a parcel of land in Nyandarua/ to a private company. PHOTO | RICHARD MUNGUTI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By RICHARD MUNGUTI

Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya has been cleared in a corruption case against him involving the transfer of a parcel of land in Nyandarua County five years ago.

While acquitting the former Finance minister, anti-corruption court Senior Principal Magistrate Felix Kombo said the prosecution failed to prove the corruption case against Mr Kimunya and two others – Junghane Njenga and Lilian Wangiri Wainaina.

Mr Kombo ruled that the accused should not have been charged in the first place.

The court observed that the State preferred charges under the wrong sections of law.

PRIVATE COMPANY

Mr Kimunya, who in 2005 was also the Land minister, was accused of allocating a parcel of land – Nyandarua/ Njabini/5852 – to a private company known as Midland Limited, in which he was a director.

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The former minister was accused of breaching public trust by failing to administer public property properly.

He was further accused of failing to declare his interest in the private company.

The property had not been alienated for allocation by the Ministry of Land.

Mr Junghane was accused of fraudulent acquisition of public land.

ALLOCATION LETTER

Ms Wangiri, a director of adjudication in the Ministry of Land, was accused of corruptly issuing a letter of allocation of the said parcel of public land to Midland Ltd.

The said offences were allegedly committed between 2003 and 2006.

Mr Kimunya faced three counts of abuse of office.

The Kipipiri MP, who was out on bond, also faced two other counts of breach of public trust and failing to disclose his interest in Midland Ltd.

NO TANGIBLE EVIDENCE

The magistrate ruled that the prosecution failed to provide tangible evidence to warrant the court to place the accused on their defence.

"This court finds that crucial evidence was not [provided] in court and I acquit them under Section 215 of the Criminal Procedure Code," ruled Mr Kombo.

The court directed that the cash bail deposited by the accused be refunded to them.

After their acquittal, Mr Kimunya said he was happy that justice has been done.

He said he should never have been charged in the first place and that judicial time and public resources had gone to waste.

He said he will discuss with his lawyers on whether he will sue for damages for malicious prosecution.

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