Economy

New twist in city expressway’s Sh2bn land acquisition plans

Nairobi Expressway

The ongoing construction of Nairobi Expressway to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, along Mombasa Road in this picture taken on November 8, 2020. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

The National Land Commission (NLC) says 17 properties that have been lined up for compensation by the highways authority to pave way for construction of the Sh59 billion Nairobi Expressway belongs to the government.

NLC acting chief executive Kabale Tache told Parliament that it has established that the properties listed by the Kenya National Highways Authority (KenHA) for compensation were actually road reserves and buffer zones after it did its inquiry prior to compensation.

“If we did not raise queries over the 17 properties, they were eligible for compensation because they were in the KenHa list for compensation. Nobody would have flagged the 17 parcels that we found to be on road reserve if we didn’t,” Ms Tache told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The land parcels in question are part of the 81 parcels identified by KenHA for the Nairobi Expressway which runs from Mlolongo Junction to James Gichuru road.

The 17 properties valued at Sh2.01 billion are next to each other and are on both sides of Mombasa Road. They stretch from City Cabanas interchange to Southern Bypass.

The NLC’s position runs counter to that advanced by KenHA director general Peter Mundinia who last week accused the commission of remaining adamant despite numerous notifications that the 17 parcels were public land.

“KenHA provided NLC with the acquisition plan that it was required to work within and decide which land to be acquired. We told NLC that at no time had we surrendered the land and it is upon it to determine how it did the acquisition,” Mr Mundinia told the committee chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi.

He asked the PAC to seek an explanation from the NLC on how it acquired the 17 parcels of land since they belongs to the government.