Swazuri out on KSh12 million cash bail in land fraud case

Former National Land Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri has been released on cash bail of KSh12 million.

The Anti-Corruption Court gave him an alternative surety bond of Sh30 million, trial magistrate Lawrence Mugambi releasing the other accused persons on different cash bails depending on the number of counts they are facing.

The Judge said the prosecution had failed to provide sufficient reasons to warrant denial of bail.

The court ordered Emma Muthoni, CEO Tom Aziz Chavangi, Salome Ludenyi Munibi and Francis Karimi Mugo to place cash bails of KSh3 million each or a surety bond of KSh5 million.

Catherine Wanjiru Chege and Michael George Onyango were given a cash bail of KSh5 million and KSh1.5 million respectively.

Swazuri and his co-accused were charged with conspiracy to defraud the government of Sh109 million.

They all denied the charges but remained in custody since last Thursday pending the hearing of their bail application.

Swazuri was accused of conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption between January 11, 2017 and December 5 the same year after jointly conspiring to make a fraudulent payment of KSh109,769,363 for purported compulsory acquisition of land from Tomado Carriers Limited for the Kenya National Highway Authority.

The prosecution told the court that Swazuri on October 28, 2013 used his office to confer a benefit to Tomado Carriers Ltd by authorizing compulsory acquisition of the land for road development.

The court heard in January 2017 Swazuri conferred a benefit of KSh75,268,253 to Tomado Carriers Limited by illegally approving a second valuation while knowing that an initial and final award of KSh34,501,100 had been made for compulsory acquisition.

Only 11 accused persons were arrested last Wednesday and the other 11 are still at large.

The court ordered them to present themselves to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission on Tuesday, failure to which warrants of arrest will be issued.


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