NLC halts compensation for land set aside for Nairobi-Naivasha SGR route

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NLC acting Chairperson Abigael Mukolwe
NLC Acting Chairperson Abigael Mukolwe speaks at a Nairobi hotel during a past conference. PHOTO/COURTESY: Youtube

The National Lands Commission (NLC) has stopped paying compensation for 1,674 parcels of land set aside for the Nairobi-Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line.

According to the land regulator, via a gazette notice, an audit disclosed that some of the payments made for the parcels of land; estimated at 2,544 acres, had been inflated.

The irregularities are limited to land between Syokimau and Mai Mahiu and if not addressed quickly, the hiatus could further delay the Ksh. 150 billion project.

In the past few weeks, a similar case surrounding compensation for land set aside for the Nairobi-Mombasa SGR line was brought to light and this led to the prosecution of NLC chairman Mohammad Swazuri and Kenya Railways Chief Executive Atanas Maina among other senior officials of the two government controlled institutions.

According to NLC’s acting Chairman Abigael Mukolwe, new estimates have reduced the compensation to Ksh. 7.4 billion down from a yet to be disclosed fee.

“Individual landowners will be at liberty to view the new compensation awards at NLC and respective locational chiefs’ offices between November 5 and November 7,” the notice posted in last Friday’s gazette notice read.

Similarly, Ms. Mukolwe revealed that the lands regulator is set to receive payments from Kenya Railways for land set aside for the establishment of SGR’s sub-stations in Ongata Rongai, Ngong and Mai Mahiu.

Ms.Mukolwe subsequently revealed that the annulment came after an all-encompassing study of the plots under review which revealed inconsistencies in totaling of the awards.

More than 1,100 plots of land have been scheduled for compensation between Syokimau and Ngong but the inability to relocate families before paying them has seen a stall in the project which has forced Chinese contractors and developers to focus on other areas of the SGR project.

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