Head of Public Service, KU Council risk jail over varsity land tussle

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 27 Jul, 2022 12:29 | 2 mins read
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Kenyatta University. PHOTO/(2KenyattaUniversity)Facebook

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and the entire council of Kenyatta University risk being jailed for contempt of court.

The officers are accused of violating court orders regarding the allocation of Kenyatta University land for the construction of the World Health Organisation (WHO) hub in the institution.

Justice Oscar Angote of the Employment and Lands Court stopped further interference with the land on July 15, 2022.

In the latest orders, the judge has allowed the Law Society of Kenya to commence contempt proceedings against Kinyua and the KU Council for alleged violation of the court orders.

The new twist arises from allegations by Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi that the University Council has interfered with the matter by supporting minutes discussing the land issue.

"We are displeased with the conduct of the University Council which has attempted to interfere with the status quo by fraudulently backing minutes relating to the matter in question," the lawyer said.

He also accused Kinyua of giving adverse directions regarding the land issue despite the court orders.

As a consequence, Ahmednasir applied for leave to file the contempt of court and a detail affidavit highlighting on the violations.

Justice Angote allowed the LSK lawyer to put in the application and affidavit within 5days.

The court also extended orders barring Kenyatta University from surrendering its title deed in a bid to hive off part of its land for allocation to WHO or squatters.

Justice Angote extended the conservatory orders to August 8, 2022, pending the hearing of a case filed by LSK challenging the illegal acquisition of the university land.

The directive by the Judge came after Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, through lawyer Mmeme Eredi and National Lands Commission, said they are yet to file responses in the matter.

The judge, however, indulged the parties and ordered all respondents including NLC and KU Council to file their pleadings within three days.

LSK sought the court intervention saying the compulsory acquisition of a section of the land is illegal and unconstitutional as the Council of KU or members of the public were never called for public participation.

"Unless this court intervenes, the respondents will implement the impugned directive thereby arbitrarily depriving KU of the parcel of land that is being forced to surrender without compensation," Ahmednasir states.

LSK's petition highlights arguments that the government through the highest office in the land has since been harassing, issuing threats, and intimidating members of the council for failure to surrender the land as directed.

"The petitioner seeks to show Head of Public Service Kinyuas actions have been used and utilized for purposes of perpetuating and concealing illegalities, further to profit and benefit corrupt inept individuals at the expense of the institutions, against the law and public policy," the senior lawyer told the court.

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