I bought land, I didn’t grab it – Mark Too

Sacco says doc­u­ments prov­ing they own the land were re­placed in 2014, nam­ing the former MP as owner

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Rift Valley - MATHEWS NDANYI @ndany­i_­math­ews

Former nom­i­nated MP Mark Too says he legally owns the 200 dis­puted acres in El­doret that Nandi Teach­ers Sacco claims to own.

The land is ad­ja­cent to the El­doret In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

Yes­ter­day, Too pro­duced doc­u­ments in­di­cat­ing how he bought the land from Lon­rho Agribusi­ness (East Africa) Lim­ited for Sh11,243,000 and paid a stamp duty of Sh320,000.

Too was sub­se­quently is­sued with a ti­tle deed dated June 15, 2005.

I HAVE PROOF OF OWN­ER­SHIP

“I have never conned any­one in my life and the same sacco of­fi­cials are us­ing me as a scape­goat in­stead of ex­plain­ing where they took money col­lected from teach­ers,” he told the Star in El­doret.

The former leg­is­la­tor pro­duced a let­ter in­di­cat­ing that on July 9, 2013, sacco of­fi­cials were sum­moned to ap­pear be­fore the dis­trict lands reg­is­trar in El­doret on July 24 con­cern­ing the land dis­pute.

The of­fi­cials were to pro­duce doc­u­ments prov­ing how they ac­quired the land. But they did not pro­vide doc­u­ments and re­fused to sign min­utes of the meet­ing, which was also at­tended by of­fi­cials from Lon­rho.

“The of­fice ruled that Mr Mark Too is the bon­afide owner of the land based on doc­u­ments and state­ments tabled and cor­rob­o­rated by the doc­u­ments held by our of­fice,” then Uasin Gishu lands of­fi­cer RJ Simiyu said.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Lon­rho, David Korir, said the sacco did not buy the land from them. The land had only been of­fered to Mark Too and no other buyer, he said.

PROVE YOU OWN THE LAND

Too wants the sacco of­fi­cials to go to court if they have gen­uine own­er­ship doc­u­ments. He said the same of­fi­cials had se­cretly bought land at Kip­somba and failed to in­form the teach­ers.

“If they di­verted the sacco funds for per­sonal use, they should not use me as a scape­goat,” Too said.

Sacco share­hold­ers Zachariah Kuto, Christo­pher Bi­wott and Sammy Sawe said the or­gan­i­sa­tion bought the land from the East African Tan­ning Ex­tract Com­pany be­tween 1999 and 2001.

“Orig­i­nal doc­u­ments were re­moved from the file by Lands of­fi­cials in El­doret and new ones were put in 2014. We in­tend to take the mat­ter to the high­est court in the land,” Kuto said.

“When we car­ried out an of­fi­cial search in 2012, the Nandi Teach­ers Sacco was still the owner. Now doc­u­ments have been al­tered to show Mark Too as the le­gal owner.”

Sacco trea­surer Bi­wott said, “This is a case of fraud and we ap­peal to the EACC to help re­turn the farm to the gen­uine own­ers.”

Too was chair­man of Lon­rho East Africa, which owned 40,000 acres —in­clud­ing the dis­puted land —and sold it to pri­vate de­vel­op­ers.

IF THEY DI­VERTED FUNDS, THEY SHOULD NOT USE ME AS A SCAPE­GOAT, FORMER LEG­IS­LA­TOR SAYS

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