Lawyer wants Lands officials removed from office

A city lawyer wants two officials at the ministry of Lands to be removed from office.

Mr Wesley Maswai, also a board member of the National Irrigation board has sued Lands Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi, his ministry and its human resource department.

Mr Maswai has also sued the Public Service Commission and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (Eacc)

He faults the manner in which Lands director General Peter Kahuho and the director in charge of land administration Edward Kosgey were recruited for their positions.

Through lawyer Ham Lagat, he argues that they were not appointed procedurally and that their positions have further created loopholes for continuous operation of land cartels which in essence is an outright abuse of power.

Mr Lagat told High Court judge George Odunga that their appointments defeats principles of Leadership and Integrity, as well as national values on transparency.

He claimed that since their recruitment was made in an unclear manner, it is indeed a dangerous precedent set and a threat to the rule of law.

He further faulted the ministry of lands and the Eacc for failing to take any action.

“Unless halted at its earliest by this Court, land management and administration in this country will be greatly jeopardized,” Mr Lagat said.

In his case documents he alleges that the ministry of Lands has had several ‘land cartels’ and the creation of the said posts as well as subsequent staffing is a matter that raises eyebrows before the public.

He also alleges that he is merely concerned that if the process of creating such positions and opaque process of filing that position is left unattended, the operations in the ministry will continue to be cluttered yet it is the people of Kenya who stand to suffer greatly.

“It is in the interest of justice that this Court in exercise of its supervisory jurisdiction and in the duty of safeguarding the spirit and the letter of the Constitution proceed to issue the said orders,” Mr Lagat said.

However, Justice Odunga only certified the matter as urgent, directed that the sued parties be given copies of the case documents and set the hearing of the case on February 14.

Mr Maswai wants the positions created for the two to be suspended and that they be barred from discharging, their duties pending hearing and determination of his case.

He also wants the lands CS, his ministry and the Eacc to be compelled to redo the recruitment of their positions based on competitive process as well as merit.

Mr Kahuho replaced former Commissioner of Lands Zablon Mabea who was transferred to the Ministry of Interior.

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