Former MP Basil Criticos
Former MP Basil Criticos

Former MP Basil Criticos, who handed President William Ruto 2,500 acres in Taita Taveta County, has been appointed to serve as head of the Kenya Trade Network Agency board for three years.

In addition, Mugambi Imanyara's position as the agency's chairwoman has been cancelled by the president. Former President Uhuru Kenyatta selected him.

Mr Criticos is well-known among those living on the coast and is among the wealthiest individuals who possess substantial amounts of property.

He held the position of Taveta MP for many years before losing to Dr Naomi Shaban in the 2002 elections.

Mr Criticos worked as the assistant minister of roads and public works under the Kanu administration.

He played a significant role in President Moi's administration, and he has a history of working with President Ruto in Kanu, where he was also an MP for several years.

When Mr Criticos sold 2,536 acres of land to President Ruto before the 2017 elections. Dr Ruto and Mr Criticos had to justify the property purchase during their attempts to run for president in 2022.

In Taita-Taveta County's 2,536-acre Mata Farm issue, Dr Ruto had spoken out, claiming that he really owned the property.

He claimed to have purchased the property after assisting Mr Criticos in paying back a loan to the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC).

In addition, he said, "I am a Mata elder because I assisted the former Taveta MP in repaying his loan at AFC, and he gave me a piece of land."

The property was purchased at market value, according to the former MP, and the Taita Taveta property control board accepted the paperwork.

In July of last year, Mr Criticos said, "I did him no favours, and if he had offered below the current market value, I wouldn't have offered the land to him."

Raila Odinga, the leader of the Azimio, also spoke out against the situation and vowed to look into it if he were elected president.

"He (Ruto) talks about the 2,500 acres in this county as if it's inadequate, and yet there are many individuals here who consider themselves landless," Mr Odinga stated at the time.

During the Taita campaign, former Mombasa governor Hassan Joho, who would have served as the acreage cabinet secretary under an Odinga administration, also pledged to look into how Mr Criticos came to own the substantial sisal acreage.

"Why did he not distribute the land to locals? He ought to have begun with the community members," according to Mr Hassan Joho.

On Friday, President Ruto made further appointments. Ann Wambui Njuguna was given a three-year term as head of the Uwezo Fund Oversight Board.

Kipchumba Murkomen, the secretary of transport, has appointed Adrian Kamotho Njenga to head the Transport Licencing Appeals Board for three years.

Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung'u named Mr Kamotho, a lawyer for the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), as the Capital Markets Tribunal's chairman in a Gazette Notice dated April 20.

Eliud Owalo, the ICT Cabinet Secretary, also revoked Mr Nicholas Kamuya Ngarua's appointment and named Sarah Kabira to the Communications Authority of Kenya board for a three-year term.

Mr Owalo also withdrew the appointments of Mr David Mwangi Kuria and Mr Ezekiel Onyango and nominated Ms Evalyn Koiyan and Ms Bevin Angellah Bhoke to the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) Council.

Mr Geoffrey Omenke and Mr Joe N. Muriuki have been appointed to the board of the Export Processing Zones Authority by Trade CS Moses Kuria.

Mr Kuria has also appointed Florence Wangui to the Kenya Investment Authority's board of directors for a three-year term.

Community CS for East Africa For a three-year term, Rebecca Miano named Mr John Lanyasunya, Ms Rosemary Nchinyei Parengiro, Ms Christine Jepkoech, and Ms Justina Chepnyango to the board of the Kerio Valley Development Authority.

Aqua CS Julius K. Ndumbi was given a three-year appointment to the National Irrigation Authority board by Alice Wahome. The appointment of Mr Stephen Kuria as chairman of the Mineral Rights Board was rescinded at the same time by Mining CS Salim Mvurya.

Agribusiness CS Johana Cheruiyot was appointed by Mithika Linturi to the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation for a three-year term.

The name of First Community Bank Ltd. has been changed to Premier Bank Kenya Ltd. by CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge.

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