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Economy

NLC revokes valuation of land marked for Malindi Airport upgrade

Houses built close to the runway of the Malindi Airport: Dr Swazuri said nobody will be forcefully evicted and that all those affected by the airport expansion will be compensated. FILE PHOTO | ROBERT NYAGAH
Houses built close to the runway of the Malindi Airport: Dr Swazuri said nobody will be forcefully evicted and that all those affected by the airport expansion will be compensated. FILE PHOTO | ROBERT NYAGAH 

The National Land Commission (NLC) has revoked a property valuation done by the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) in 2012 that was the basis for compensating 130 families living on land meant for the expansion of Malindi Airport.

NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri said the valuation done at Kwachocha did not follow the law.

“The Constitution gives NLC the responsibility of valuation and resettlement of squatters and I therefore set aside the earlier valuation done by KAA,” he said.

While addressing residents of Kwachocha on Tuesday, he said another surveying and valuation process meant to begin this week would take a month to complete.

“The process had been delayed due to lack of money for compensation but it is now available,” he said, adding that after Kwachocha the commission “will move to another place meant for airport expansion.”

Revamp to international status

Last year, the government gave the NLC Sh300 million to compensate residents living on land meant for the Sh5.6 billion airport upgrade to international status as part of efforts to boost tourism at the Coast.

Dr Swazuri said nobody will be forcefully evicted and that all those affected by the expansion will be compensated.

“After evaluation of property and land, we shall demand title deeds and question their legality. Whoever obtained them illegally will lose its ownership documents while the genuine ones will be compensated,’’ he added.

He regretted that residents were misled by people who did not have any legal understanding of land acquisition in an area earmarked for expansion of the facility.

“The airport expansion plan was there long before. The first airstrip was at Eden Rock before it was moved to the current area. The problem is that the colonialists never informed the public but the records are there and the project has to be implemented,’’ he said.

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