Swazuri says Sh12m cash bail too high, asks court for review

Wednesday March 18 2020

Former National Land Commission chair Muhammad Swazuri arrives at the Milimani Law Courts with his co-accused on April 23, 2019, for the bail ruling in the Sh109 million corruption case. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Former National Land Commission chair Muhammad Swazuri has sought a review of his release terms by the Anti-Corruption Court in the Sh109 million corruption case that he and several others are facing.

Justice Mumbi Ngugi on Wednesday certified his application as urgent.

In the application, Prof Swazuri said the Sh12 million cash bail or Sh30 million bond imposed by Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi was unjust, unreasonably high and in contravention of Article 49 of the Constitution.

Justice Ngugi directed him to serve the application to the Director of Public Prosecution and appear before her for a hearing on Thursday.


While releasing the accused persons on Tuesday, Mr Mugambi said the security to be provided by each one should not only guarantee court attendance for the trial but also ensure public confidence in the administration of justice.


The magistrate also noted that the charges against Mr Swazuri and the others concerned serious economic crimes.

The court further directed the accused to surrender their passports and never contact any of the witnesses.


Others given the Sh12 million cash bail are former commissioner Emma Njogu, former NLC chief executive Tom Aziz Chavangi, Valuation and Taxation Director Salome Munubi, Finance and Administration Director Francis Mugo and lawyer Catherine Wanjiru Chege.

Businessman Samuel Rugongo was granted freedom on Sh6 million cash bail or Sh15 million bond while Sostemah Ogero Taracha was ordered to deposit a cash bail of Sh3 million.

Ms Lilian Savai Kaverenge, Ms Evahmary Wachera and Michael Oloo were released on cash bails of Sh1.5 million each.


Prof Swazuri and his co-accused spent the Easter holiday in custody after denying the charges last Thursday.

They denied more than 20 counts including corruption, abuse of office, financial misconduct, fraudulent acquisition of public funds and money laundering.

The charge sheet states that they conspired to commit corruption through fraudulent payment of Sh109 million for the alleged compulsory acquisition of land from Tornado Carriers on behalf of Kenya National Highways Authority.

Other than corruption, Prof Swazuri also denied abuse of office charges.

He is alleged to have approved a second valuation yet compensation for the land for expansion of the road near the port of Mombasa had been set at Sh34.5 million.