The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has sued Pauline Chepkorir Maiyo, a former government employee, deployed as a telephone operator attached to the late President Daniel Arap Moi.
In its suit, EACC is seeking orders to recover alleged government land in Karbanet town that it says was illegally and irregularly allocated to Ms Maiyo. The property, which includes an executive residential house, is valued at approximately Ksh10 million.
The matter will be mentioned on Thursday, April 13, 2023, before Karbanet Chief Magistrate Judith Wanjala.
The suit ropes in former Commissioner of Lands Sammy Mwaita who is accused of facilitating the fraudulent acquisition of public property through conspiracy with Ms Maiyo.
EACC also faults the former Commissioner of Lands for abuse of office, purporting to exercise power that he did not possess, purporting to allocate land that was not available for alienation, and failing to have regard to public interest.
In the suit filed before Karbanet Chief Magistrate’s Court, EACC avers that the alienation and allocation of the property to Ms Maiyo by Mwaita was fraudulent, illegal, null and void and did not confer any estate, interest or right over the suit property to the defendant or at all.
"EACC is asking the Court to issue a declaration that the allocation and transfer of the parcel of land described as Kabarnet Municipality/161 to Pauline Chepkorir Maiyo by ex-Lands Commissioner Sammy Mwaita was illegal, null and void ab initio (from the start) and incapable of conferring ownership rights and/or any other proprietary rights in the said public land," EACC said in suit papers.
"EACC is asking the Court to issue a permanent injunction to restrain Pauline Chepkorir Maiyo by herself, her agents, servants, employees, assigns or any other person whatsoever from charging, transferring, leasing, wasting, entering, developing, sub-dividing, occupying and/or dealing in any manner dealing with the said land, except by way of surrender to the Government of the Republic of Kenya," add the suit papers.
According to the anti-graft agency, investigations into the matter were undertaken from 2020 after EACC received allegations that land set aside for the establishment of residential houses for civil servants had been illegally alienated and allocated to private citizens.
According to the suit papers filed in court, the EACC investigations established that the property, a plot that is off Hospital Street and a few metres from Rift Valley Hills Resort in Kabarnet Municipality of Baringo County, had been planned, reserved and used for government housing.
EACC found that on the land, there was a government house number KABA/HOU/HG/7, comprising of a main house and boys’ quarters constructed in September 1953.
"On August 2, 2002, the suit property measuring 0.3518 hectares (0.869316732 acres) was illegally and/or irregularly alienated to Paulina Chepkorir Maiyo who is former telephone operator deployed to Late President Moi’s Kabarak home despite the fact that the suit property was planned and set aside for use as a public utility reserved for government housing," EACC adds in the suit.
The commission filed a recovery suit after Ms Maiyo failed to voluntarily surrender the land back to the government as demanded by EACC.