MPs want court to allow Swazuri probe on bribery allegations

The National Assembly wants the High Court to allow it to complete investigations on bribery allegations against National Lands Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri.

Dr Swazuri has challenged a parliamentary committee probe, which seeks his removal from office over the claims.

Through lawyer Wangechi Thanji, the National Assembly said that the matter is of great public interest and that the ongoing investigation is part of its constitutional obligation.

“This court ought to consider public interest and allow Parliament to complete its processes,” the lawyer said.

Even though the commission chairman claims that his rights had been violated, the National Assembly said that his rights had not been infringed in any manner and that he would have adequate time to call as well as cross examine witnesses.

FLOUTED THE LAW

A petition dated February 22 was presented to the committee on lands by journalist Mugo Njeru, seeking Dr Swazuri’s removal from office on grounds that he has flouted the law on leadership and integrity.

The chairman is accused of demanding Sh20 million out of a compensation award of Sh43 million that was to be given to Mr Mugo’s wife Editor Irima in the dispute concerning a parcel of land.

He is also accused of unduly influencing Editor to enter into a contract of undertaking with him that he had some unidentified interest in the said property and would therefore be paid Sh20 million out of the Sh43 million compensation.

He was also allegedly paid a Sh1 million bribe on December 19, 2015 in cash through his conduit Badhili Elijah Yaa.

Dr Swazuri had obtained orders stopping the proceedings but the inquiry had been going on.

The court yesterday extended orders stopping the probe and set the hearing for May 16.

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