Why make Kethi a scapegoat for IEBC's gross failures?

High Court directs prosecutor not to arrest Kethi Kilonzo

Updated Thursday, August 15th 2013 at 12:21 GMT +3
By Isaiah Lucheli
NAIROBI, KENYA: Police will not arrest Kethi Kilonzo in the next 14 days.

High Court Judge Lydia Achode on Thursday directed Director of Public Prosecution not to arrest her.
Police want lawyer Kethi Kilonzo and an Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission ( IEBC) official charged with theft and forgery linked to her disputed electoral registration card.
Detectives at CID headquarters recommended to the Director of Public Prosecutions ( DPP) that the two face the charges in a file forwarded on Monday.
DPP Keriako Tobiko has since appointed a team of three lawyers to look into the police file.
Under the penal code, forging any judicial or official document and presenting it officially attracts up to seven years in in prison.
Police handling the case have so far concluded that Kethi and Mr Geoffrey Lemiso, who is a custodian at IEBC where the green book was stored, have a case to answer in regard to the ongoing investigations.
On Monday, an anticipatory bail application by Kethi to bar police from arresting her was been certified urgent.
Kethi through lawyers Harun Ndubi and Julie Soweto told the court that security forces had been painting her as a fugitive and have been using powers to arrest to threaten, intimidate, humiliate and embarrass her other than to uphold the rule of law.
The lawyer submitted that she was seeking the anticipatory bail to dispel any notions that she was a fugitive and to enable her attend to her other obligations as an advocate without fear of being harassed.
“The applicant is a law abiding citizen and is ready to face any criminal charges that may be brought against her,” Kethi said in the application.

Kethi has sued the Republic of Kenya, Inspector General of Police and DPP.
In a sworn affidavit, Kethi submitted that she was apprehensive police intended to institute criminal charges and proceedings against her going by the information that they had released in media.

Fafi legislator Bare Shill wants to testify on gold scandal

Updated Wednesday, August 14th 2013 at 22:59 GMT +3
Fafi legislator Bare Shill. [Photo: File/Standard]
KENYA: The MP who raised a red flag on the gold export scam now says he has not been called before the parliamentary committee on Environment and Natural Resources to testify.

Bare Shill, the MP for Fafi, told The Standard yesterday that he had written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Justin Muturi, for him to intervene in the quest to unravel the truth behind the 1,900kg of gold that two companies have exported from Kenya to Dubai.
The MP wants to give his testimony before the House committee concludes its hearings and presents its report to the House.
Mr Shill raised the matter on June 4 and wanted to know how huge amounts of cash came in via the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and why the money was never banked. Pending proposal
When Arvindkumar Pattni, a director of the Ushindi Exports Limited, and Frank Gikonyo, a director of Skyhawk International Limited, appeared before the committee, they said their companies do not keep records of those who supply the commodity.
It is the same story that the directors told the CID. They said they buy gold from licenced agents and miners.
The chairman of the two sister companies, Naginchandra Pattni, told investigators that they have foreign merchants who trade in gold.
MPs were astounded when they were told that the Commissioner for Mines and Geology had given the dealers the leeway not to worry about the names of the unlicensed sellers, but only about the quantity of the gold and the date on which it was bought.
Mr Gikonyo told the committee that he is the one who collects the money and that he is also the one who sends the gold out of the country.
The report is expected as soon as the National Assembly resumes from its recess on September 17.
Sh2.2b made from illegal gold trade could have funded terrorism, arms
Updated Wednesday, August 14th 2013 at 22:41 GMT +3
KENYA: Investigators have exposed how proceeds worth Sh2.2 billion from illegal gold trading was kept out of the financial system and could have been used to finance criminal activities.
The probe reveals how exporters have been able to beat strict anti-money laundering laws after bypassing banks to pay for illegal shipments of gold.
The report by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) submitted to a parliamentary committee probing the shadowy dealings said some money could be used to fund terrorism, arms trade and money laundering.
Investigators said they suspect the firms involved in the trade preferred handling huge sums of money in cash, and concealed some transactions.
The investigations have roped in the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) over an alleged Sh2.8 billion tax arrears by two gold exporters, and also exposed an illegal practice in which customs officials use illegal documents to certify the cash that’s coming into the country “because the official documents are out of stock”.
The procedures at the Ministry of Mining are also under scrutiny, and the investigators claim Commissioner for Mines and Geology, Moses Masibo, created loopholes that allowed illicit gold to be traded in the country.
Mr Masibo is on suspension over the controversial licencing of mining companies in Kwale County that were revoked by Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala.
The Director of Criminal Investigation, after weeks of investigating two firms that export gold from Kenya to Dubai, declared that he could “not rule out the possibility” that the colossal amounts of money were being used to fund “ terrorism, the purchase and smuggling of arms, or money laundering”.
Claims of illegal trade in gold are sensitive, as highlighted in 2011 when DRC President Joseph Kabila flew in for emergency talks with President Kibaki over huge consignments of stolen gold smuggled into Kenya from his country by a cartel.
KRA Assistant Commissioner Joseph Cheptarus was shot while preparing an investigative report on its movement. An officer close to the investigations told The Standard the players in the smuggling ring include “top boys” in Government.
The National Assembly’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee is probing the matter.
Two firms at the centre of the investigation, Skyhawk International Limited and Ushindi Exports Limited, trade in cash without involving banks or foreign exchange dealers. The money comes in through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi in cash, it is declared at the customs using an “Improvised Custom Declaration Form.”
The declaration forms are “improvised” because “official forms are out of stock”, according to statements given to the detectives from the Customs officers at JKIA.
The millions of dollars come in via couriers on specific planes, and are transferred in tranches by a Cash-in-Transit company to the firm’s offices.
Only deposits of $10,000 (about Sh875,000) are reflected in their bank accounts but the cumulative deposits do not add up to the millions that enter the country.
But the directors of the two firms told investigators that they trade in cash because the local commercial banks are too broke and too slow to service their demands. Also because commercial banks charge high interest rates which eat into their profit margins.
“Most of the time, the local commercial banks do not have sufficient cash in US dollars, which the (companies) use to pay their clients because of the fluctuation of the shilling,” noted the confidential report of the CID.
KRA has also slapped two of the firms linked to the exports with a demand that they pay Sh2.8 billion in tax arrears.
Made loss
The confidential report shows that Mr Masibo sent a letter to all licenced gold dealers allowing them room not to capture all details of their suppliers.
The law requires full details of the suppliers to be kept, but because some gold dealers had complained that the unlicenced small-time movers of the precious metal were reluctant to give details for fear of legal consequences, the commissioner stepped in. He allowed the licenced dealers to focus on the quantity and date of transaction.
In the report filed with the committee, the CID also revealed that for the first six months of this year, 1.9 tonnes of gold, whose source is unclear, was exported to Dubai.
The two firms declared $25.5 million (about Sh2.1 billion) as the value of the gold that was being exported, but when it came to declaring the proceeds from the sale of that very consignment, the value had gone down to $21.5 million (about Sh1.9 billion) – meaning that the companies made a loss of $4.3 million (Sh367 million).
“There is no way the two companies could have traded at a loss in this business. The only logical explanation is that the gold was stolen, smuggled, or bought (from the supplier) at a very low price to enable them make a profit,” the CID sleuths noted.
Alex Mugo15 August 2013 6:46 AMThis history of exposure of how billions get lost is all too common. Are the reports ever used to stop the madness? I doubt because the story goes under until the next similar story. It’s pathetic display of how we Kenyans take these stories as if they belong to some other Kenya. By the Grace of God, something must happen that will give these top boys and top girls a real lesson. They must be made to stop stealing and then vomiting on out feet. The drug lords and now the mining lords must not be allowed to steal Kenyan wealth and even souls. The stories scream even in headlines but lords seem not to care. May all prayerful and God fearing Kenyans take these lords of destruction to the LORD OF BATTLE who the creator and GOD of all flesh. Send the lords by prayer and do any prophetic action that the Spirit leads you to do. The lords think they are conquering Kenya but there are some Kenyans who are more the lords--yes, God's children are more than Conquerer. Am I speaking to any Kenyan of faith? Yes, I’m speaking to those who have been made kings and priests unto God.
Squatters at Solio Ranch cry out for justice after being left out of resettlement
Updated Wednesday, August 14th 2013 at 23:37 GMT +3
A resident, Sarah Wanjiku, 72, with her grandchildren outside her shanty in Ihuro slums, Mathira, Nyeri County. Some squatters in the county are still waiting to be resettled. [PHOTO: MOSE SAMMY/STANDARD]
Nyeri County : About 200 families that were left out during the resettlement of squatters at Solio Ranch in Nyeri are still seeking justice.

The families were not lucky enough to be settled in the 15,000-acre Solio resettlement scheme, where 3,000 squatters were settled in 2010.
It is alleged that some unscrupulous people, including members of the provincial administration, tinkered with the genuine list of squatters, leaving them out. The matter was investigated by the Ethics and Anti corruption Commission, although no report has been released.
Now the families want the county government to help them get resettled as their chance to get land in the previous exercise was scuttled.
The squatters from Iruri Village in Mathira have written a petition to the county government seeking its intervention as their cries over the past three years have fallen on deaf ears.
Last week, the squatters claimed they were duped by the government and some individuals who allocated the land meant for them to some “rich and politically-connected people”.
Richard Muriuki, who presented the petition to Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua, said most of the rogue beneficiaries were relatives of local politicians and members of the provincial administration.
“We have been leading desolate lives while the land we were promised in Solio Ranch was allocated to wealthy people. Some of the illegal beneficiaries are relatives of members of the provincial administration and some former MPs from Nyeri County,” said Mr Muriuki.
Mathira MP Peter Weru has promised to follow the matter up with the anti-corruption commission to ensure that those behind the scam are prosecuted.
“I’m trying to get more details about the con game that went on and we will be demanding action from the government. Such injustices should not go unprosecuted,” said the MP. The government spent Sh1.275 billion on the resettlement land at Solio, an amount that was Sh25 million short of the whole amount that the government had set aside in the 2006/07 financial year to settle squatters in the country.
Yesterday, James Maina Mugo, the Executive Director of Social Watch, confirmed that his organisation petitioned the anti-corruption commission to intervene but no action was taken after the probe.


Hijacked by rogues
“The officers grilled some of the illegal beneficiaries and the squatters who were left out, but after going back to Nairobi, no action was seen to have been taken,” said Mugo. “Deserving people from Iruri, Ndathi and Kiandongoro Tucha villages were left out,” added Mugo.

Mr Mugo claimed about 300 people benefited from the land illegally.
“They should make the names public so that should the government identify land, the process will not be hijacked by rogues,” he said.
Former First Lady Lucy Kibaki on one of her visits to Mathira promised the Iruri squatters that they would be among targeted beneficiaries. Each beneficiary got four acres for farming and an extra half-acre to build homes.
When contacted, County Commissioner Michael Mwangi said the county government is committed to resettling colonial squatters living in the area among others.
Mr Gachagua could not be reached for comment; his mobile phone went unanswered, but an official from his office disclosed that he had received the petition.
Nyeri County Chief of Staff Duncan Maina said the government has taken over the cases, and was in the process of constituting the county land board to facilitate resettlement.

Bid to stop Truth Justice and Reconciliation report report rollout flops


Updated Wednesday, August 14th 2013 at 21:36 GMT +3

By Patrick Kibet
Nakuru, Kenya: A group of 24 petitioners from Nakuru County have lost a bid to stop the implementation of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation report.


Justice Anyara Emukule, while declining to issue orders, ruled that the move by the group had been overtaken by events since the report was presented to the President on May 21 this year and has also been tabled in Parliament.

Emukule noted that the petitioners, through their lawyer Kibe Mungai, did not satisfy the court on how their rights would be infringed by the implementation of the report to warrant its intervention.

Conservatory orders

Emukule, however, directed the file to be placed before the presiding judge in charge of Constitutional Court at Milimani Law Courts to have it consolidated with other petitions concerning the TJRC report.

The 24 petitioners led by George Kihara wanted the court to issue conservatory orders stopping the implementation of the report.

Mungai representing the petitioners had argued that it was prejudicial for the Commission to conclude that land acquisition by land companies in Nakuru, Uasin Gishu and Laikipia counties was illegal without giving them a hearing.

He also noted that the TJRC report adversely mentioned land buying companies and cooperatives which were owned by members of the Kikuyu community. He told the court that the independence Constitution allowed white highlands to legally exist hence any sale of land to land companies was legitimate.

Kibe had argued that when the British confiscated land from the natives to constitute the White Highlands, the land ceased being communal.

TJRC, through affidavits sworn by retired Major General Sheikh Farah, told the court that the application to stop the implementation of the report was premature.

He also told the court the report was compiled after public hearings, which were conducted in Nakuru, Laikipia and Uasin Gishu counties.

He added that the Government spent over Sh1billion in preparation of the report, which covered historical injustices which occurred between 1963 and 2008.