Swazuri bid to chair last meeting fails - Daily Nation

Judge dismisses Muhammad Swazuri' bid to chair last NLC meeting

Tuesday February 12 2019

National Land Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri

Outgoing National Land Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MAUREEN KAKAH
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The High Court has blocked a bid by the National Lands Commission’s boss Muhammad Swazuri to chair a meeting with staff before he exits next week.

Justice Hedwig Ong’udi on Tuesday ruled that the court cannot meddle into affairs of the Lands Commission.

Prof Swazuri had moved to court seeking permission to chair a meeting with staff before the expiry of his tenure on February 19.

“The meeting is an internal one and the court cannot go ahead to supervise affairs at NLC which is an independent body. I, therefore, decline to give orders as sought,” said Lady Justice Ong’udi.

FRAUD CHARGES

Mr Swazuri was charged in 2018 alongside NLC’s Valuation and Taxation Committee Director Salome Munubi, Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanas Maina and 12 others over fraudulent compensation of five parcels of the standard gauge railway land.

At the time of taking plea, he was barred from accessing his office hence his deputy served as the acting chairperson.

But he moved to the High Court where he obtained an order allowing him to access his office.

The Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji has challenged this reprieve.

In her ruling, Justice Ong’udi said granting orders in his favour would be running parallel proceedings on the same issue.

ACTING CHAIRPERSON

The embattled NLC boss has in a separate case dragged his deputy to court accusing her of taking over his duties.

He accused NLC Vice Chairperson Abigael Mbagaya Mukolwe of unlawfully calling for meetings, issuing directives, memos and decisions as ‘though she is the one in charge of the land commission’.

In the suit, he claimed that her conduct has interfered with smooth operations at NLC, triggered institutional chaos and continues to expose the commission to liability.

He argued that the law allows any member to be a vice chairperson but not any member can become a chairperson of the commission.