KPA told to evict people from Sh1.9bn port land

Operations inside the Lamu Port in Lamu County on 21st August 2021. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

MPs have asked the Kenya Ports Authority to vacate all compensated people still occupying land on which Lamu port stands by end of August, citing the affected members were duly paid an amount of Sh1.9 billion.

In a report by the Public Investment Committee, legislators say the occupants are still living on the land despite the project’s completion and payment made through the National Lands Commission.

The report is in response to the auditor general’s enquiry into the variance of the property, plant and equipment (PPE) balances in which the Lamu port land costs of Sh1.9 billion were not included.

"The Committee recommends that the accounting officer for the KPA should ensure that all the project affected persons that were duly compensated vacate the land for construction of Lamu port within three months of the adoption of this report," the report read in part.

KPA told Parliament the amount was paid and recorded as compensation to project-affected persons, as it defended itself against a finding by the Auditor General that the Lamu Port land was missing from its balance sheet.

"Contrary to the observation made, Lamu port project land was included in the PPE schedule at the value of Sh1.92 billion. The amount was compensation to project affected persons (PAPs) done by the National Lands Commission (NLC)," the report read in part.

"Total compensation for PAPs through the NLC was Sh1.9 billion paid out as Sh1.31 billion in February 2015, Sh576.8 million in July 2015 and Sh28.9 million in May 2017."

The committee said although the management had responded satisfactorily on the issue of the amount discrepancies they could not provide a response on why the land was occupied after compensation.

"Though the management satisfactorily responded to the issue of variances in compensation and capitalization of the acquired land, there was no response on why the project affected persons were still occupying the land for which they were compensated," the report read in part.

When auditors visited the site for evaluation, they found the project affected people occupying the land and no title deed had been issued to the government.

The Lamu port is part of an ambitious transport corridor between Lamu a town north of Mombasa in Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

The port is figured to connect the landlocked East African economies to global trade routes.

It was envisioned as an alternative outlet for South Sudan’s oil, which is currently pumped via the Greater Nile Oil Pipeline to Port Sudan.

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