Home Business EDITORIAL: Theft of NLC records a clear sign of impunity

EDITORIAL: Theft of NLC records a clear sign of impunity

by kenya-tribune
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Disappearing evidence only means crooks will continue walking scot-free while public funds remain unaccounted for. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The intrigues surrounding ongoing investigations into irregular compensation of land owners for the Mombasa-Nairobi phase of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) have become near farcical and must immediately stop.

It is clear that there is a determination to bury the truth on how billions of shillings in taxpayers money was spent amid concerns of irregular compensation for land on the project wayleave.

The latest edition of this soap opera are reports that a computer containing crucial evidence that prosecutors relied on in their case against National Lands Commission (NLC) chairman Muhammad Swazuri and others has gone missing from the commission’s office.

This kind of thing is ridiculous and a direct affront to the justice system. Disappearing evidence only means crooks will continue walking scot-free while public funds remain unaccounted for.

It is unconvincing that thieves would casually break into the NLC office and randomly pick on the specific computer holding such crucial data, then walk away casually. Even more ridiculous is the claim that all this happened without being detected despite the fact the office is guarded round-the-clock.

One can only come to the conclusion that the so called computer theft was well choreographed by people hell bent on scuttling ongoing investigations. Investigative agencies must pursue this matter with vigour because without the stolen records, those behind the misappropriation of the SGR funds will get away with crime and encourage impunity among those tasked with safeguarding public resources. The missing computer also puts to risk the integrity of land records, which is unacceptable. Cases of crucial documents, including tender documents and court files disappearing have become too common and must stop.

The disappearance of the computer however also raises questions on the competency of investigative teams. Why was the gadget containing such crucial evidence left in premises accessible to some of the suspects in the case? Why weren’t the files retrieved and backed-up?

We hope this case will be pursued to the very end and any officials found to have misused public funds punished for their deeds.



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