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NLC warned against issuing notices to landowners in railway construction

14 March 2014, 18:07

Nairobi - The National Assembly's Public Investments committee(PIC)  has cautioned the National Lands Commission(NLC) against gazetting the compulsory acquisition of land routes earmarked for the construction of the KES 447 billion standard gauge railway without needed funds.

The Committee's vice-chairman and Kikuyu MP, Kimani Ichungw’ah advised the NLC to involve the Kenya Railway Corporation to hasten the process of land valuation that the Mombasa-Nairobi railway line will pass.

This directive occurred as NLC said that it was yet to receive the allocation of KES 8 billion to compensate those likely to be affected.

NLC's Chairman, Mohammed Swazuri informed the committee that Kenya Railways is yet to deposit any money for the commission although it has caused it to issue notices to land owners who will be affected by the compulsory takeover. This contradicted the Treasury's CS, Henry Rotich previous assurance to the committee that the government had allocated the funds to compensate the victims.   

“It is wrong to rush and gazette the land when you have no funds. You should engage the Kenya Railways Corporation, the owners of the targeted land and the Kenya Wildlife Service to agree on the compensation purposes,” said Ichungw’ah.

However, Swazuri reiterated that the commission went on to issue gazette notices as per the existing regulations which require landowners to be notified of government intention to undertake compulsory acquisition adding that the notice limits the variation to two years.

“Kenya Railways has so far submitted the first 56 kilometers that extends from part of Mavumbo and South Samburu Group Ranch in Kwale County, the Kenya Wildlife Tsavo-East and Tsavo West in Taita County to Kathekani in Makueni County,” said Swazuri.

He also said the commission has no information regarding the total cost of land to be acquired because the KRC is yet to submit the amount of land required in Nairobi's first phase.

The commission's chairman added that his commission gazetted the land acquisition notice last month and is waiting for the corporation to facilitate it to issue the gazetted notices to respective land owners.

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