Dennis Itumbi, a digital communication strategist
Dennis Itumbi, a digital communication strategist and Ex-CS Fred Matiang'i.

Dennis Itumbi, a digital communication strategist, has submitted a new request for the conviction of former Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i regarding the significant fraud incident involving Ksh1.5 billion on public land in Ruaraka.

Itumbi requests the state start prosecuting Matiang'i and 25 other unidentified people connected to the sale of Ruaraka property within seven days in letters sent to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission on Thursday, March 9, 2023.

The statement asks that Dr. Fred Matiang'i be looked into because it is said that he wasted Sh1.5 billion of government money, most of which was used to buy land for Ruaraka High School and Drive-In Primary School.

Itumbi requests that DPP Noordin Haji open an investigation into Matiang'i for allegedly making illegal payments within seven days, failing which he would once again use his "right to personally investigate" the former CS.

Itumbi says he is unhappy with the DPP's decision to send the investigation file back to the EACC three times at the beginning and ask the Commission to strengthen its case against the defendants without giving any updates on the situation's status or progress.

"Three times, you (the DPP) returned the case with the recommendation that the EACC involve officers from the DCI's Land Fraud Section in order to have solid proof against the offenders who would be prosecuted, after returning the file three years ago with no action or reaction," Itumbi declares.

In a letter to the EACC, Itumbi asks for updates on the commission's investigations into the conflict involving Matiang'i and 25 other people who are not named.

He said he would go to court if the commission wouldn't give him information about how their investigations were going.

Milimani Anti-Corruption Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti turned down Itumbi's request to start a successful prosecution more than two years ago. He has now moved to charge the former Cabinet Minister.

Magistrate Ogoti turned down Itumbi's request for a private prosecution on November 27, 2020, because he hadn't said enough about how he got the information or papers he wanted to use against the powerful Cabinet Secretary at the time.

The magistrate determined that the papers could not be used as testimony at trial.

During Matiangi's time as education secretary, Ksh1.5 billion was spent by the education ministry to buy a piece of land that the High Court later found to be public property. This was the subject of a 193-page application by Itumbi to have Matiangi tried separately.

He wanted to bring charges against Matiangi for abusing his power, not following the law about how to handle public money, wasting money, and trying to trick people.

When the Ministry of Education purchased a 13.77-acre plot of land in Ruaraka for two public schools—Ruaraka High School and Drive Inn Primary School—it is believed that fraud took place.

In his most recent campaign, Itumbi spoke out against the ODPP and EACC for not doing anything about the huge fraud.

He is relying on a ruling by the High Court's three-judge bench from 2019 that said the forced purchase of the land where two schools are located did not serve a legitimate benefit since the area was public property.

The justices ruled that the concerned property is public land and "ought to have been free from compulsory purchase."

Justices Bernard Eboso, Elijah Obaga, and Kossy Bo also said bad things about the National Land Commission (NLC), which told the education ministry to buy a 13.77-acre plot in Ruaraka where there were two public schools.

"Even with the proof you (the DPP) provided in court, you recognized the truth—public funds had been misappropriated. In fact, you testified in court that the National Land Commission attempted to cover up its dubious actions by needing to pay Sh1.5 billion to Afrison Export Import Ltd. and Hueland Limited as restitution for forcibly acquiring their land for government use, according to his lawyer's letter to the DPP.

The attorney continues by saying that the EACC handed the investigation file to the DPP, which included evidence and suspects who would be tried for theft of public funds, "Matiang'i being one of them," in court.

After looking at the records, the DPP reopened the case three times and suggested that the EACC bring in investigators from the Land Fraud Department of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

This was done so that there would be clear evidence against the defendants who were to be charged.

Itumbi claims that when he initially requested the prosecution of Matiang'i in a letter to the ODPP and EACC on October 5, 2020, the offices responded with an "I do not care" attitude.

Because of this, he had to file the private prosecution application, which didn't work, and the DPP was a part of it.

Itumbi tells DPP Haji that the evidence that the judge said couldn't be used came from EACC.

"It is very unfortunate that our client was willing to use his own money and start a private prosecution against Dr. Matiang'i to make sure that stolen government money would be paid back to help with the high cost of living right now," he says.

"That step taken by our client two years ago was incredibly inappropriate as the Constitution under Article 157 requires you to initiate the Inspector-General of National Police to inquire into any outrageous claim of illegal behavior against any participant and then arrest and charge the culprits," the lawyer for the client said.

Afrison Export Import Limited and Huelands Limited, two companies owned by well-known businessman Francis Muburu, filed a lawsuit with the NLC over the forced purchase of the property without payment. This is how the issue was first brought to the public's attention. 

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