Counties

Ketraco eight-year land row in Kajiado finally resolved

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Kajiado County Governor Joseph Ole Lenku. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • An eight-year row between power firm Ketraco and the Maasai Community over compensation of land in Kajiado Central has come to an end.
  • The stalemate over land valuation had threatened to stall the 90km Isinya-Namanga project after the community rejected the offer of Sh 800,000 per acre at the rate of 35 percent as proposed by the National Land Commission( NLC).

An eight-year row between power firm Ketraco and the Maasai Community over compensation of land in Kajiado Central has come to an end.

The stalemate over land valuation had threatened to stall the 90km Isinya-Namanga project after the community rejected the offer of Sh 800,000 per acre at the rate of 35 percent as proposed by the National Land Commission( NLC).

The ministry of Lands had valued the land in Mailwa and Lorngosua at Sh750,000, a figure that was earlier disputed and rejected by the community and local elected leaders.

The community in Matapato North and South wards led by Melton Birisha and Evans Kaanto said the valuation had been understated forcing Ketraco, the NLC and the Lands ministry to go back to the drawing board, bringing on board Governor Joseph ole Lenku and local leaders for negotiations.

Yesterday, the governor and Ketraco management led by chairman Joe Mutambo held a community meeting at Maili Tisa to strike an agreement to pave way for the continuation of the power project.

When they emerged from the meeting, Ketraco announced that the land would now be valued at Sh1.2 million in both the Mailwa and Lorngosua blocks, bringing an end to the conflict that had threatened peace in the area.

" We are glad the new rate has averted a violent confrontation as we had said no work would go on from Monday next week. We were ready for a confrontation with the security agencies," Said Mr Birisha. Mr Kaanto said the uniform compensation per acre for both wards was welcome.

Governor Lenku said the stalemate had slowed down works and brought bad blood between the power company and the community.

" This agreement has been a result of several years of work. Two years ago, Cabinet Secretaries Fred Matiang'i (Interior) and Charles Keter (Energy) and myself convened a meeting to iron out the difference and we are now happy we have agreed on the payment."

Mr Mutambo said about 500 land owners along the way leave will benefit from the compensation deal.

" There was also a component of Sh 300 million in community projects in local primary schools and which will also be honoured," said Mutambu adding that the land owners and other neighbours to the project will have their homes connected to electricity using a different line.