Economy

MPs take Swazuri team to task in Sh12bn SGR payout

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Ex-National Land Commission chair Muhammad Swazuri. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

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Summary

  • Parliament took former National Land Commission (NLC) officials to task over the payment of Sh12 billion to beneficiaries of land acquired for construction of the standard gauge railway (SGR).
  • Former NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri and Tomiik Konyimbi, the chairperson of the subcommittee land acquisition and compensation.

Parliament took former National Land Commission (NLC) officials to task over the payment of Sh12 billion to beneficiaries of land acquired for construction of the standard gauge railway (SGR).

Former NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri and Tomiik Konyimbi, the chairperson of the subcommittee land acquisition and compensation, were unable to explain why NLC directed Kenya Railways to pay landowners Sh12 billion as compensation.

Section 111 requires acquiring entities to deposit funds with the NLC for payment to project affected persons.

Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday, Prof Swazuri told MPs that he acted on the recommendations of the land acquisition and compensation committee to allow Kenya Railways, the acquiring entity for the SGR land, to pay compensation directly to landowners.

Dr Konyimbi said he could not remember making such a recommendation to Prof Swazuri.

“I cannot confirm because I have no documentation to that effect but I remember the issue being discussed by the commission,” he said.