Intense lobbying started late year for plum positions in government whose occupiers are expected to exit in coming months starting this Februay. This presents a tough balancing act for President Uhuru Kenyatta who is currently in the middle of a political storm.
Among those set to retire from public service are Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet, Auditor General Edward Ouko (pictured), Central Bank of Kenya deputy governor Sheila Mbejjiwe and Kenya Prisons boss Isaiah Osugo.
Also expected to exit due to the end of their terms or on attainment of retirement age is Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo, Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner General John Njiraini and all commissioners in the National Lands Commission (NLC), whose term expires on February 19.
The process to find a replacement for members of NLC, led by Muhammad Swazuri, is on top gear,it is understood that they the current office has started moving out. The NLC vice chair Abigael Mbagaya wrote to the President in September last year, informing him of their imminent retirement. Other NLC commissioners are Samuel Tororei, Abdulkadir Adan Khalif, Tomik Konyimbi, Silas Kinoti, Rose Mumbua, Muthoni Njogu and Clement Isaiah Lenachuru.
Outgoing National Land Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri on Monday said he is a happy man after serving for six years. Swazuri assumed office in February 2013 as the first chairman and his term comes to an end on today.
Early this week, while on his last official duty as the NLC Chairman at Tononoka Grounds Mombasa, Swazuri said one of his biggest achievements in office was to ensure majority of Lamu County families received title deeds.He was accompanied by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir in giving reports of land value for most plots within the Mombasa Island.
“When we (NLC) went to Lamu for the first time in 2014, apart from the Lake Kenyatta Settlement Scheme, only nine other people were holding title deeds in that region. However, as we are now speaking every village in Lamu has a title deed,” said Swazuri.
He said NLC facilitated the issuance of over 12,000 title deeds to Lamu residents.
Swazuri, who is fighting accusations of being incompetent, corrupt and several court cases around the compensation of the land acquired for the Standard Gauge Railway, said the people fighting him are those who are bitter at his performance.
Swazuri has been on the receiving end while holding the seat of the chair from public,the national assembly, the senate and above all his very own commissioners including his deputy, Abigael Mbagaya who has accused him of running the commission as ‘one man show’ and mismanagement of public funds, a thing he found hard to answer when he faced the parliament for questioning.
Last week, the National Assembly Committee on Lands delivered a harsh verdict over the performance of NLC, saying the commission failed to address 388 complaints on historical land injustices.
However, Swazuri responded by saying they have resolved over 200 cases of historical injustices and their performance was beyond expectations.
“We have resolved over 200 cases of historical land injustices. Unfortunately, there are those who launched a smear campaign against me. In fact, the biggest enemies are those who had stolen public land and we had to revert it back to the public,” said Swazuri.
He said in the last six years they have been in office, NLC facilitated issuance of thousands of title deeds throughout the country.
“We have resolved so many land problems in the country. We have taken the perennial land problem head on, that even if I start enumerating what we have done here, we shall take three days,” he said.
Swazuri is set to exit the office alongside his nine-member team after their mandatory six-year term.