A human rights activist has written to the Head of Public Service Felix Koskei over what he termed as an abuse of office at a key department in the Ministry of Lands.
In a letter dated October 19, Aggrey Wafula claims that a senior official at the Ministry, in a clear abuse of power and with intent to defraud the ministry on the project known as change management system (Ardhi sasa) sponsored by FAO has nebulously acted and/or falsified records.
“Particulars of fraud/falsification are as follows: an officer who retired on 1-1-2023 is purported to have attended a seminar and paid a per diem. Another official is also listed to have attended the seminar and also paid per diem,” the letter reads in part.
Through lawyer Felix Keaton of Keaton and Keaton advocates, Wafula adds that the officers have purportedly and secretly gone for seminars for 6 days a week and they are on their 10th week, each paid Sh12,500 per day.
Further, the said the influential officer has organized the transfer of officers without the knowledge of the Principal Secretary.
The alleged transferred officers are an Assistant Director, a HRI, and a Senior Human Resources Officer.
“Our instructions are that the officer has monopolized and weaponized the transfers,” he says in the papers.
“We are further instructed that the said officer has nursed a violent and hostile attitude against the field officers and has created a toxic work environment where hardworking officers are vilified- harassed and treated inhumanly and her cronies favored.”
“Our instruction is that in light of the above and the many other displays of despicable and abhorrent, incorrigible and illegal acts of the concerned officer, we humbly invite your offices to intervene in the interest of justice.”
Wafula has urged relevant officials at the Ministry to address the raised concerns on a priority basis in order to restore service delivery to Kenyans.
He adds that the action will help in the public’s view of the Office of Human Resources and the entire Ministry of Lands and physical planning system.
Earlier, the activist had also petitioned the senior officer’s removal or transfer claiming the position has contributed to numerous litigation and disruption of service at the Ministry of Land.
“A case in point is the recent case in ELRC case number E689 of 2023-Lepezoh Ortega Abisai versus cabinet secretary lands and others where the court awarded Sh3 Million to Abisai,” Wafula stated.
The activist accuses the officer of abusing power at the ministry.
“If the information sent to PS Koskei and copied to the chief executive officer and secretary to the Public Service Commission, cabinet secretary Ministry of Public Service, youth and gender affairs is not acted on, and have the official removed or transferred from the said docket he will institute court proceedings in the court of law,” Wafula states in the letter.
As this goes on the lobbying for the post of the Chief lands registrar is on a high note.
David Nyandoro who is the acting Chief lands registrar and previously principal lands registrar is among those touted to take over the position.
Other candidates who had been shortlisted for the position and were interviewed by the Public Service Commission were Fedson Orare, Peter Mburu, Clarah Mburu, Bernard Leitich, Tom Nyangau, Sarah Maina, and Zubeda Mucheke.
The new Lands cabinet secretary Alice Wahome has promised to crack the whip at the cartels operating at the ministry with a vow that she will wipe them out.
At the time she took over, she said that her presence at the ministry would be felt through the removal of the cartels.
Her sentiments were received well by a section of workers at Afya Center who urged her to emulate the interior cabinet secretary Prof.Kindiki Kithure’s directive that police officers will not be allowed to exceed three years at one police station in the country.
“The CS is supposed to ensure that land registrars too can be rotated here as a way of ending the culture of corruption when one officer stays at one station for long,” said one staffer.