The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating what it described as “rampant graft at the Ministry of Lands.
The EACC announced that it is investigating the ministry’s officials over various allegations of corruption, abuse of office, fraudulent dealings in land purchase, bribery and double registration of land and issuance of multiple title deeds.
“The lands sector has a high propensity to corruption and ethical malpractices. EACC is indeed aware of these corrupt and unethical practices that range from bribery, double registration of titles, fraudulent transactions among others,” Chairman Eliud Wabukala said.
Wabukala said if not addressed urgently, the malpractices at the Ardhi House could impede the achievements envisaged under the economic pillar of Kenya’s vision 2030.
He suggested a waiver of all charges on lands services by government to reduce graft at the ministry and enable Kenyans get services.
“In our view, this will not only cushion Kenyans from costs and reduce the bureaucratic procedures in land transactions but is also a key anticorruption initiative,” he said.
Wabukala spoke at the Kenya Institute of Survey and Mapping, Nairobi, during a workshop on to train the ministry’s officials on implementation and compliance with leadership and integrity regulations set out in chapter six of the constitution.
“As a way of enhancing service delivery, the cabinet secretary issued a directive waiving fees for land title deed searches. In our view, this will not only cushion Kenyans from costs and reduce the bureaucratic procedures in land transactions but is also a key anti-corruption initiative”, said Wabukala.
He said the anti-graft agency has traced and recovered government land that was corruptly acquired in collusion with Lands officials and averted loss of public funds through corruption networks within the ministry.
CS Jacob Kaimenyi said the ministry has suspended five senior officers to allow investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.
Kaimenyi said he has requested the EACC to audit systems for the entire ministry to establish loopholes exploited by officers to collude with syndicate land grabbing cartels to aid land grabbing.
The exercise started in April last year and is expected to be concluded next month.
He said the EACC has provided technical support to the ministry in the development of the specific leadership and integrity code for the state officers in the Ministry.
Source: Kenya News Agency