Sunday Reading: Tobiko Petition will be President Uhuru’s Litmus Test on Integrity and War on Corruption

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By Blamuel Njururi, Kenya Confidential Editor-in-Chief, Nairobi, June 3, 2018

Hon Tobiko told the Parliamentary Committee how he was involved with community land groups, but failed to disclose his role when 4,000 acres of Maasai Mara Forest were acquired by one Livingstone ole Ntutu

Mid-morning on May 30, 2018 I made the bold move of submitting to the National Assembly, popularly referred to as Parliament, a Petition seeking the removal of Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko from the Cabinet. This petition will provide the Litmus Test for President Uhuru Kenyatta and National Assembly of their seriousness in upholding integrity and fighting corruption in Kenya.

The President cannot profess his determination to fight corruption in his legacy tenure nor can the Legislature and Judiciary proclaim support on the war on the socio-economic evil, when the architects of massive acts of corruption in land grabbing and bribery hide in his cabinet There have been allegations that cabinet secretaries and top positions candidates appearing before the Parliamentary committee bribe their way through. Proof may be hard to come by but it is a fact that none of them satisfactorily account for the hundreds of millions they say they are worth.

When Tobiko appeared before the Parliamentary Vetting last February, he presented a holier than though image of an angelic advocate who had championed land rights in Maasailand when in reality he was the architect of land grabbing by the family of the late ex-senior chief Lerionka ole Ntutu of thousands of acres of Maasai Mau Forest Water Tower and international wildlife heritage of Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Tobiko at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry is like a mortician pretending he can resurrect a patient he killed. No amount of braggadocio will restore Maasai Mau Forest to its natural state before Tobiko appeared on the horizon. No chest thumbing will resurrect Narok floods victims killed by torrential waters as a result of cleared forest cover.

My Petition is self-explanatory but just a tip of the iceberg:

May 30, 2018

The Clerk

The National Assembly

P O Box 41842-00100

Nairobi – Kenya

PETITION TO THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TO REMOVE AND/OR INITIATE THE PROCESS OF REMOVAL OF MR KERIAKO TOBIKO AS A CABINET SECRETARY WITHIN THE MEANING OF ARTICLE 152(d) OF THE CONSTITUTION PURSUANT TO ARTICLES 37, 94(1)-(4), 95(2), (5) (a) & (b) AND 119(1) OF THE CONSTITUTION, PETITION TO PARLIAMENT (PROCEDURE) ACT AND STANDING ORDER 219 OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY STANDING ORDERS.

I, Blamuel Njururi, the undersigned Petitioner, being a Citizen of the Republic of Kenya residing in Nairobi, pursuant of Articles 37,94(1)-(4),95(2),(5)(a) & (b) and 119(1) of the Constitution, Petition to Parliament (Procedure) Act and the National Assembly Standing Order 219.

Draw the attention of the Honourable House to the following:

A Petition to the National Assembly requesting the National Assembly to remove and/or initiate the process of removal Hon. Mr. Keriako Tobiko as Cabinet Secretary within the meaning of Article 152(d) of the Constitution on the following grounds;

That:

Parliament (the National Assembly) has under Article 95(5) of the Constitution the authority to initiate the process of removal of a Cabinet Secretary from office. It can also be prompted by a member of the public by way of Petition to commence the process of removal of a cabinet Secretary. In short, there will be instances when the National Assembly is not the originator of the process for the removal of a Cabinet Secretary – (Petition 403 of 2015.)

  1. That:

Hon Keriako Tobiko contravened Chapter 6 of the Constitution Part (1) when he concealed vital information to the Parliamentary Vetting Committee by failing to disclose to the Committee that he had a close relationship with a client involved in irregular acquisition of Gazetted Maasai Mara Forest and Maasai Mara National Reserve Land as their Lawyer in transactions for financial benefits.

  1. That;

Specifically Hon Tobiko told the Parliamentary Committee how he was involved with community land groups, but failed to disclose his role when 4,000 acres of Maasai Mara Forest were acquired by one Livingstone ole Ntutu. In a letter of September 15, 1999 Mr Tobiko maintained that Title NAROK/CIS/MARA/OLOLULUNGA (Parcel 9678) was not part of the Gazetted Forest land even after the public custodian, Narok County Council, explained it was an integral part of the Forest that was hived irregularly from Maasai Mara Forest Title Narok/CIS/Mara/Ololulunga/9470, Parcel 9470 in 1999 by Tobiko’s client, Livingstone Kunini ole Ntutu to his company Ilngina Contractors Ltd.

  1. That:

Tobiko further failed to disclose to Parliamentary Committee that he also aided the same Livingstone ole Ntutu in acquisition of another 4,000 acres of Maasai Mara National Reserve irregularly and illegally hived out of the National Reserve –Maasai Mara National Reserve Title No Narok/CIS Mara/Talek/155.

  1. That:

Tobiko further failed to disclose to the Parliamentary Committee that his Law Firm, Tobiko & Associates, established in 1997, was involved transactions of irregular land deals, in which the Maasai communities lost their heritage for posterity to an individual. He later merged his firm with Bernard Njoroge Advocates to form Tobiko Njoroge & Co Advocates.

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  1. That:

Concealing such information as aforesaid was in contravention of Chapter 6 of the Constitution Part (1) A State officer shall behave, whether in public and official life, in private life, or in association with other persons, in a manner that avoids – (a) any conflict between personal interests and public or official duties; (b) compromising any public or official interest in favour of a personal interest.

Mr Tobiko failure to make full disclosure placed the Parliamentary Vetting Committee at great disadvantage of proper assessment of his involvement in irregular forest land acquisitions that had the capacity to trigger massive destruction of Water Towers and subsequent environmental degradation being experienced now vis-à-vis his appointment as Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary or any member of the Cabinet within the meaning of Article 152(2) of the Constitution by dint of the concept of collective responsibility of the cabinet.

  1. That;

As Director of Public Prosecutions Mr. Tobiko knowingly allowed the continuation of malicious prosecution against citizens who sought his intervention. Tobiko acted negligently and failed in his statutory duty contrary to Kenyan Constitution, Chapter Nine, Part 4, Article 157 that provides, in part (11) In exercising the powers conferred by this Article, the Director of Public Prosecutions shall have regard to the public interest, the interests of the administration of justice and the need to prevent and avoid abuse of the legal process.

He subjected a young couple and a 70-year old veteran Anti-Corruption investigative journalist, who is the petitioner herein, to malicious prosecution in Criminal Case No 5823/2013 that lasted from November 2013 to November 2017 thereby acting negligently and failing in his Constitutional and/or statutory duty to pursue the matter, even after several letters and emails to him, to prevent and avoid abuse of the legal process.

  1. That:

I confirm that the issues in respect of which this Petition is made are not pending before any court of law, or constitutional or legal body.

  1. That:

Attached to this Petition is an affidavit pursuant to Article 119 of the Constitution, Right to Petition Parliament (Procedure) Act part (1), as affirmation to my honesty and the fact that matters raised are without malice, ill will or made under duress but as a civic duty in public interest, to uphold integrity and interest to prevent and avoid abuse of power by those entrusted with the management of public affairs which is paramount to the success of democratic governance. 

  1. Therefore, your humble Petitioner prays that the National Assembly:
  • That;

Pursuant to Articles 37, 94(1)-(4), 95(2), (5) (a) & (b), 119(1) and 152 of the Constitution having stated and disclosed the grounds for the removal and/or initiation of the process of removal of Hon. Mr Keriako Tobiko as Cabinet Secretary in general and specifically as Environment and Forests Cabinet Secretary as required under Article 152 of the Constitution, the National Assembly Considers this Petition.

  • And your Petitioner will forever thankfully pray.

Name of the Petitioner.

Blamuel Njururi

Sunday Nation May, 3, 2018 coverage of my petition took Tobiko by surprise given his tight grip on Nation Media House editorial department commercial journalism. He has a brother who works in the group’s accounts department. In 2006 the group refused to publish a story on Maasai community demonstrations against their land grabbing by Tobiko’s client Livingstone Kunini ole Ntutu saying I was not their reporter. Yet I won Journalist of the Year Award in 1975 as a Nation staffer as set up its investigative department in1980s.

Even before he finds his way in the dark dense forest his ministry is or delivers anything tangible, Tobiko is on record bragging that he will outshine colleague Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Mating’i. “Lets be real…Give me the police force, give me the equipment that Matiang’i has at his disposal and this ministry will be as good if not better than Matiang’i’s,” he said during a public function on Thursday, February 22 after a tour of the Mt Kenya Aberdare Forest.

Some Police officers who have served as Tobiko’s bodyguards told Kenya Confidential of Hell on Earth experience as they were at ordered to abandon their guard duties only to find the man had left the hotel rooms for unknown missions. Others spoke of being rebuked like small children for no apparent reasons by enraged Tobiko in front of strangers. They said police would be in very dangerous hands under Tobiko.

That is the blind ambition common with people known to be grossly irresponsible whenever they take alcohol over which they have no control. The late Justice ole Keuiwa had a sad memory of a midnight raid at his residence near State House and conduct unbecoming by a drunk couple celebrating change of guard of the Bomas of Kenya Constitutional talks chair.

A Mombasa retreat of Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) was stunned by loss of a senior staff member official gun after a drinking spree that saw him drugged and robbed of money, mobile phones and other valuables in a state Swahili’s call kulewa chakari – and that was not an isolated incident.