“In case they continue to claim that Kalonzo (Musyoka) grabbed land, the NYS also grabbed our land because it is Kamba land and they are not welcome.”
Those were the words of Minority Leader in the National Assembly Francis Nyenze, who came out in support of his party leader Musyoka who has been accused of allegedly grabbing National Youth Service land in Yatta constituency, Machakos County.
Accompanied by eight other MPs most of whom are from the Kamba community, the legislators called for relocation of the National Youth Service training camp in Yatta saying it was not beneficial to residents and was taking over useful agricultural land.
“We don’t see the value of having NYS in Ukambani land because we do not get any benefits from it; it’s unwelcome because it is land we can give to our poor farmers,” added Nyenze.
The MPs defended former Vice President Musyoka over the land grabbing claims he is facing, saying he was unfairly targeted for speaking against illegal land acquisition.
The legislators waded into the Weston Hotel ownership issue saying since the Deputy President had admitted that he had shares in the hotel which is claimed to be on grabbed land, he too should be investigated.
Nominated Senator Judith Sijeny who read the group’s statement on behalf of Minority Whip Thomas Mwadegu, who was absent, questioned the Jubilee administration’s resolve to deal with land grabbing cases insisting that the NYS land in question had been legally acquired by Musyoka.
The MPs insisted that Musyoka bought the land on a willing buyer willing seller basis and that in fact all the stamp duties on the parcel of land had been fully paid. 1 | 2
“This farm was sold to Kalonzo Musyoka by two sellers (Janet Chirchir and Betracal Ltd) in the early 90s,” said Sijeny.
The MPs insisted the matter had been in the public domain and had only resurfaced when the Sh800 million corruption saga dogging the Devolution Ministry came up, and charged that Musyoka was a sacrificial lamb to distract Kenyans from the real issue.
“These are diversionary tactics from the NYS scandal,” said Mutua Muluvi (Kitui East).
The MPs further questioned the renewing of the lease of the Taita Taveta land reportedly owned by the Kenyatta family.
In a rejoinder however, Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa dismissed the CORD legislators as ‘lords of poverty’ saying the fact that people were taking tribal connotations to defend their colleagues facing corruption allegations was sad.
He took issue with a statement by the MPs that Jubilee was militarizing the youth through NYS programme saying it was laughable as the recruits’ tools of trade were brooms, jembes and spades.
“The fear with our CORD colleagues is that the programme is empowering youth who are their supporters and whom they are used to misusing,” said Ichung’wa.
He urged legislators to let accused individuals carry their own crosses as corruption allegations were not targeted at a community but individuals.
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He further dismissed the assertion that there was a plot to extend the boundary from Goliba in Thika, Kiambu County to Kithimani saying this was promoting tribal animosity as the claims were untrue.
“We have enough land in Kiambu and we are not interested in extending our boundary to semi-arid areas,” said Ichung’wa.