Thika land registrar’s assets frozen in EACC probe

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has obtained court orders to freeze assets worth billions belonging to Thika Land Registrar Felix Mecha Nyakundi.

The frozen assets include 106 prime land parcels spread across various counties, commercial buildings, 17 high-end vehicles, and an unexplained Kes4.26 million in cash.

The court order, valid for six months, is part of an ongoing investigation into Nyakundi’s suspected involvement in corruption, abuse of office, and embezzlement of public funds.

EACC said Nyakundi, who previously served in Baringo County, is under scrutiny for allegedly amassing wealth that is disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Justice Esther Maina, in her ruling, agreed with EACC’s argument that failing to freeze Nyakundi’s assets could lead to their transfer, sale, or other actions that could hinder the forfeiture process to the government.

This move by EACC is part of the government’s war on corruption that seeks to ensure that public officials are held accountable for their actions.

Thika Land Registrar Felix Mecha Nyakundi

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Corruption in Govt institutions

Corruption remains a major challenge in Kenya, undermining development efforts and eroding public trust in government institutions with land offices being one of the most affected.

The EACC, through its advocate Pius Nyoike, said it is investigating Nyakundi’s alleged illicit activities to gather evidence and build a solid case against those involved in corruption.

In December 2023, the EACC arrested two land officials at the Kisamis Lands Office in Kajiado West subcounty. The officials were apprehended for allegedly demanding a bribe of Kes148,000 from a complainant in exchange for the release of 74 title deeds held in their office, despite lacking any lawful justification for their actions.

This incident was yet another reminder of the pervasive nature of corruption within the Ministry of Lands, which has long been plagued by allegations of bribery and unethical practices.

According to a 2021 survey by the EACC, the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning ranks as one of the most corrupt entities in Kenya. The survey revealed that the Ministry of Interior topped the list, with a corruption rate of 42.4 percent, followed by the Ministry of Health at 19.7 percent.

The Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning came in third, with a corruption rate of 11.7 percent, highlighting the deep-rooted challenges facing the ministry in combating corruption and promoting transparency.

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