NLC fails to name people paid Sh2.8bn

Auditor-General Edward Ouko. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Auditor-General Edward Ouko. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The National Land Commission (NLC) is on the spot over its failure to disclose beneficiaries of Sh2.8 billion compensation payout in the year to June 2016.

Auditor-General Edward Ouko says NLC made payments totalling Sh2,868,539,469 on behalf of other government entities.

“The amount includes Sh2,079,764,002, being compensation whose details of acreage and plot numbers have not been made available for audit verification,” Mr Ouko said in a report dated June 19 and tabled in Parliament yesterday.

He said the commission, chaired by Muhammad Swazuri,  has not made available for audit verification a valuation report for compensation paid out during the financial year.

“In the circumstance, it has not been possible to confirm the accuracy and validity of the payments made by the commission on behalf of other government entities amounting to Sh2,868,539,469 included in the statement of receipts and payments for the year ended June 30, 2016,” Mr Ouko said in a qualified audit opinion.

The NLC has in the past been thrust into public limelight over payments of billions of shillings to alleged fictitious land owners attracting intervention of Parliament.

The 11th Parliament, through the Land committee probed compensation claims for the construction of the Sh327 billion Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway (SGR) .

There were claims that the government lost billions of shillings in the acquisition of land for the SGR through irregular compensation and overpayment of individuals affected by the project.

An audit report revealed massive irregularities in the compensation to companies and individuals.

The NLC has also found itself on the spotlight over compensation claims for the construction of the multibillion-shilling Thwake and Thiba dams which also attracted House scrutiny.

The Sh62.3 billion Thwake dam project in Kitui has delayed due to failure by the local community to agree with the commission on the compensation and resettlement.

The over 519 families residing in the area complained of under compensation and discrepancies in reimbursement rates, with the government buying an acre for Sh180,000.