Land owners who occupy SGR path to be compensated

Written By: KNA
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National Land Commission chair Mohammed Swazuri
National Land Commission chair Mohammed Swazuri (middle) and Commissioner Silas Kinoti (left) addressing the media after holding a meeting with land owners

National Land Commission (NLC) has assured residents of Suswa area, who own the land where the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is set to pass of full compensation.

The commission’s chair Prof. Mohammed Swazuri said about 77 landowners who occupy the 120 Kilometer stretch railway path will be compensated soon after the land valuation is complete.

Swazuri who was speaking at Duka Moja area said the government valuer will consider the soil value, the development on the land and the value of trees on the land before advising the commission on the compensation amount.

He regretted that the Chinese contractors had invaded the land without informing the owners saying the government cannot take a single meter without compensation.

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“The commission had planned to start the process of compensation immediately after the launch of the programme by President Uhuru Kenyatta in October 2016 but suspended the exercise after a ruling by the Environment and Land Court,” he said.

Swazuri assured that the landowners will be paid money or given an equivalent alternative land once an inquiry to prove the land ownership is conducted and valuation done.

“We will compensate the land owners whether they have title deeds or not as long as they prove they are the real owners,” he said.

Commissioner Silas Kinoti, who accompanied Swazuri assured residents that the compensation will be guided by law and that the commission will work with the local chiefs to ensure everyone was compensated.

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He cautioned residents to use the money wisely once compensated saying the experience they had on the phase one was not good as most beneficiaries squandered the money on luxury leaving their families poorer.

Kinoti said in cases of dispute, the commission will withhold the money until the family or community agree on the rightful person to be compensated.

“The money can stay in our accounts for as long as ten years but will not earn any interest, so the sooner you get the money, the better,” he said.

Kalembe Munyes, who allegedly owns 10 acres of land said the valuer should consider the fact that Suswa area is a rich ground because of the presence of Mt Suswa, Geothermal Development Company (GDC) and industrial park.

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He said the government should compensate them a lot of money since they had no plans to sell their land.

Suswa area is part of the Section 2B from Naivasha to Kisumu; 262 Kilometers that include a new port in Kisumu.

The section 2B is projected to cost Sh380 billion and will pass through the counties of Narok, Bomet, Kericho and terminate in Kisumu, where a Sh14.3 billion port will be put up, according to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report on the project.

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