Ruto appoints former MP Criticos as head of Kenya Trade Network Agency
Friday May 26, 2023
President William Ruto has appointed former Taveta MP Basil Criticos as head of the Kenya Trade Network Agency for a three-year term.
The former MP sold 2,526 acres of land to Dr. Ruto and then served as vice president, a move that drew criticism, particularly from the landless in Taita Taveta.
However, Mr Criticos defended Dr. Ruto and said he bought the land at market price in 2017. dr Rutos Mata Farm borders Criticos Ranch and Lake Jipe to the south.
“In exercising the powers conferred by Section 6(1)(a) of the Kenya Trade Network Agency…I, William Samoei Ruto,…appoint Basil Criticos as Chairman of the Board of the Kenya Trade Network Agency for a period of three years,” it said in the notice of the Official Journal.
The former MP was Deputy Minister for Roads and Public Works in former President Daniel Moi’s government.
An unsuccessful attempt is made to return to politics as a Taveta MP.
During last year’s presidential campaign, Dr. Ruto discussed the purchase of the Mata farm and said he helped Mr Criticos settle a loan he owed the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC).
The former MP won a case earlier this year against the National Bank of Kenya (NBK) over a Sh2.57 billion debt arising from the auction of his land in Taita Taveta 14 years ago.
This comes after the Court of Appeals ruled that the September 2007 auction of the 15,994.5 acres at Taita Taveta was undervalued.
The land with buildings, sisal, quarry and road network was sold for Sh55 million.
The land was sold to the Settlement Fund Trustees (SFT) to recover a Sh20 million loan to Agro Development Company Ltd, a company of which Mr Criticos was a director and shareholder.
The former Taveta MP acted as guarantor for the loan.