Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Kaluki Ngilu will not be charged in court over the coast land saga, but is not yet clear as investigations are ongoing in two other cases where she is accused of abuse of office.

Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Land Charity Ngilu

Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Land Charity Ngilu

But suspended cabinet secretaries Kazungu Kambi (Labour) and Michael Kamau (Transport) are not so lucky, and might become the first members of President Uhuru Kenyatta?s Cabinet to be prosecuted over corruption allegations.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) yesterday forwarded the files on the four to the Director of Public Prosecutions ( DPP) Keriako Tobiko, with the recommendations that Kambi and Kamau face corruption charges.

EACC claimed it lacked evidence to prove that Ngilu conspired with businessman Evanson Waitiki and valuers from her ministry to defraud the Government of Sh110 million in the planned purchase by the State of Waitiki?s land in Likoni for resettlement of squatters.

OTHER CASES

But Ngilu is still under investigation in two other cases involving land in State House Crescent and Karen that prominent individuals are said to have grabbed, and so cannot yet return to the Cabinet.

Koskei was let off the hook over allegations of irregular leasing of land belonging to Kevevapi in Tigoni, Kiambu, but is still being investigated by EACC over the irregular importation of sugar.

Tobiko said he would study the files and announce his verdict soon. He can choose to prosecute or not based on the weight of the evidence, or recommend more investigations.

?The files will be independently reviewed and decisions thereon made shortly,? said Mr Tobiko.

Files on cases involving Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko and Lamu West MP Julius Ndegwa were also expected to be sent to Tobiko?s office.

EACC wants Kambi charged for irregularly appointing of Mr Andre Gichanmba Muigai and Ms Veska Jepkemboi to the board of National Social Security Fund (NSSF).

Another case involving the controversial NSSF-funded Tassia II housing scheme is also awaiting the end of an ongoing investigation.

Kamau could be prosecuted for allegedly colluding with the contractor, Kundan Singh Construction Company Limited, and public servants involved in the construction of Kamukuywa-Kaptama-Kaptama-Kapsokwony-Kimilili road, to alter consultant designs leading to massive embezzlement of funds.

He is also being investigated over the cost of construction of roads in Garissa.

EACC sent the files to the DPP as it rushed to beat the 60-day deadline set by President Uhuru Kenyatta that expired yesterday although it had asked for more time.

Ndegwa may be charged in court over allegations that he awarded seven tenders to his cronies for projects paid for using money from the Constituency Development Fund.

Sonko was, among others, named in a corruption scandal involving Sh90 million linked to tenders at the Kenya Pipeline Company and suspended Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir. While the file on Chirchir is not ready, Sonko?s was to be handed over to Tobiko yesterday.

The individuals are among 175 mentioned in the so-dubbed ?EACC list of shame? tabled in Parliament 60 days ago by President Kenyatta.

The CEO of the anti-graft agency, Mr Halakhe Waqo, said they had finalised 56 files out of the 124 cases listed in the report, out of which 21 have been forwarded to Tobiko for action.

He said 35 files are currently undergoing evidence analysis by the commission?s legal team before being forwarded to the DPP, while 68 are awaiting the conclusion of investigations.

VARIOUS FACTORS

?We wish to point out that investigations sometimes take long depending on various factors, which include the complexity of their nature and international dimensions from various stakeholders in the retrieval of evidence.?

The commission said Chirchir, IEBC chairman Issack Hassan and former CEO James Oswago are under investigation over the ?Chickengate? scam in which they are accused of having received millions from a UK printer through a Kenyan, Trevy Oyombra.

Although two officials of the firm have been jailed in the UK, the Kenyan investigation has dragged on with no clear indication on when it will be concluded.

Geothermal Development Corporation CEO Silas Simiyu?s file was also to be forwarded to the DPP yesterday.

EACC detectives have so far questioned four principal secretaries, two senators, 12 governors, and 11 senior Government officials, including heads of parastatals.

EACC will also question 55 MPs belonging to the National Assembly?s public accounts and agriculture committees who are accused of receiving bribes from individuals they were investigating.

A multi-agency taskforce of persons from the EACC and the directorates of public prosecutions and criminal investigations are working together on the cases.

By Cyrus Ombati and Geoffrey Mosoku, The Standard

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