The High Court has upended a decision by a lower court to acquit former Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya in a case in which he was accused of illegally transferring 25 acres of public land worth Sh60 million to a private company.

Kimunya, then the Minister of Lands and Housing, was charged with abuse of office and conflict of interest among other charges relating to the land transfer to the private firm in which he had interests.

The said land in Nyandarua County, which belonged to the government, had been set aside by the Ministry of Agriculture for use in seed multiplication and as a training centre for farmers.

Anti-corruption court Chief Magistrate Felix Mutinda Kombo had acquitted Munya, former director of Land Adjudication and Settlement Lilian Njenga and Midlands Limited top official Junghae Wainaina saying prosecution had failed to call a crucial witness in the trial.

Lady Justice Esther Maina. PHOTO/COURTESY 

“The court is satisfied that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against the accused persons,” Lady Justice Esther Maina said in her ruling on Thursday.

Maina ordered Kimunya and his two co-accused to present themselves before Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi on October 11 for orders on how the case will proceed.

In her ruling, the judge said the former National Assembly Majority Leader and the other two will face charges on six counts after one of the charges found defective was dropped.

When acquitting the trio in May 2020, magistrate Kombo said the Ministry of Agriculture, which was the complainant in the case, failed to avail documents proving its ownership of the said land.

Chief Magistrate Felix Mutinda Kombo. PHOTO/JUDICIARY

He argued that the said Ministry had been trying to acquire a title deed for the said land located in Njabini but had failed to secure one by the time the case was being heard.

In his testimony, former Agriculture Cabinet Minister Kipruto arap Kirwa denied allegations by the accused that he had consented to the transfer of the public land to Midlands Limited.