By Kenya Confidential Corruption Awareness Desk, Nairobi – April 16, 2022
Wajir Woman representative, Fatuma Gedi, last Thursday arrived in parliament armed with a suitcase containing evidence of her allegations of land grabbing by the Deputy President William Ruto but the house was forced to adjourn before she could table the documents. She had documents to support her claims that Ruto had dubiously obtained parcels of land in Trans Nzoia, Wajir, Taita Taveta and Nairobi counties
Parliament adjoined after Embakasi East MP Babu Owino defied orders by the Speaker to withdraw from the chamber for disorderly conduct. The MP had uttered derogatory remarks about Speaker Justin Muturi’s impartiality after joining Ruto’s UDA party last week. The Speaker ordered Owino to leave the chamber but fellow MPs blocked the Sergeant at Arms from evicting him.
The debate had degenerated into heckling as Fatuma tried to explain her documents on how Ruto had grabbed public land in several parts of Kenya – including the capital city of Nairobi. In Nairobi she tabled photographs of police beating up Langata Primary school who were protesting over grabbing of their playground to provide parking for Ruto’s Weston Hotel – built on grabbed Civil Aviation Board land on an air corridor.
Police tear-gasses the pupils protesting grabbing of their land.
The women representative also tabled a Kitale Court judgement that found Ruto guilty of grabbing 100 acres from an Internally Displaced Parson (IDP) Adrian Mutesh that he had refused to surrender or pay Ksh 5 million compensation as ordered. Mutesh was rendered an IDP during 2007-2008 post lection violence of which Ruto was later charged before the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) to face crimes against humanity. He is still not off the hook – his lawyer has recently implicated him of bribing witnesses who later recanted their ICC evidence .
In 1992, at the height of clashes following the first multiparty elections, his sprawling piece that consisted of five parcels in Kaptabe scheme in Turbo West of Uasin Gishu was invaded. Gangs stole his farm tools and drove away his livestock. None of his workers was attacked. He also survived and remained in possession of the farm. However, he was not lucky 15 years later in 2007.
Mutesh: Turned into an IDP by Ruto
After the disputed election that heralded bloody violence, another band of encroachers forced their way into his farm threatening death. Muteshi was displaced. He became an IDP. This time, they drove away his dairy cattle, sheep and goats and took away his tractors and farm tools. All his workers were chased away.
His efforts to regain possession of the land were thwarted as his family and workers were under constant threat of death during the violence. The High Court has ordered Deputy President William Ruto to pay Muteshi Ksh 5million and vacate the 100 acres land in Turbo, Uasin Gishu County. He never did.
Fatuma’s disclosures were the first time compressive evidence against Ruto was being made before a hostile National Assembly with Ruto’s sycophants introducing extraneous claims about massive land ownership by the Kenyatta family. The debate kicked off a storm after the legislator tried to enumerate parcels of lands alleged to be owned by Ruto.
Wajir Woman Representative accused Ruto of being a hindrance to solving land injustices in the country. She argued that despite the court ordering the Ruto to surrender the 110-acre piece of land to Muteshi he did not and his action of grabbing it points to a bigger problem.
Fatuma was a week earlier contributing to a motion raised by Msambweni Member of Parliament, Feisal Bader, on the issuance of title deeds in his constituency. Bader had argued that the real land owners have not been given the crucial document even as the Ministry of Lands continues issuing title deeds across the country. The land portfolio is held by Ruto’s University of Nairobi girlfriend Farida Karoney.
Ruto: Accused of land grabbing
Muteshi knew a lot of sorrow from post-election violence right from the return of multiparty politics in 1992 when Ruto was an activist in the Youth for Kanu 1992 (YK’92). He spent his last 28 years of his life fighting to regain possession of his 100 acres in Eldoret, which he had lost due to post-election violence that year dubbed “land clashes” by dictator Daniel arap Moi government.
Legislators supporting the Deputy President Ruto sensationally claimed the allegations were tactics being employed by their opponents after sensing early defeat in the August 9 General Election. The House was forced to adjourn prematurely until May 10th when Fatuma will continue with her substantiation. Meanwhile, she must be extra careful not to meet with misfortunes encountered by those who hit their heads against DP Ruto’s wall.