Land compensation delays rock Mama Ngina University

Mama Ngina University

A signpost leading to Mama Ngina University College located in Gatundu South, Kiambu County in this photo taken on July 21, 2021. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Over 180 residents of Gatundu South Sub-county, who inked contracts to give up their land for the expansion of the proposed Mama Ngina University in Gatundu, Kiambu County last month are now accusing the government of compensation delays.

The residents of Mutomo village were expected to be paid at least Sh10 million each in the current financial year to give way for the expansion of the varsity. The affected persons say they have been reaching out to relevant agencies including the National Lands Commission (NLC) and the Education ministry to be paid their dues to no avail.

“The appointed land owners’ representatives have been following up on payments from the NLC and the University and up to date, there has been no payment made,” Harun Gacheru Ngochi, the chairman of the Mutomo Landowners association says in a letter dated June 7 to Education Cabinet secretary George Magoha.

The residents now say the delay has compounded their relocation plans as they had started engaging land sellers from other areas but they are now unable to complete the transactions. Once compensation is done the residents have between 15 to 30 days to vacate their premises.

Mr Ngochi says residents are now questioning whether they were duped into consenting to vacate with no financial backing.

Prof Magoha did not respond to numerous Business Daily queries on Friday and on Monday by press time. The NLC struck a longstanding deal with the residents of Mutomo after long-winded negotiations for acquiring the land in mid-May.

Each land owner was to be compensated with Sh10.1 million for a 100 by 100 plot against their target of Sh16 million.

According to NLC records the highest land owner will get up to Sh35 million.

NLC acting chief executive Kabale Arero Taches on Friday said her office had completed verification and was waiting for funds from the Education ministry, meaning the buck now stops at Magoha's office.

“The Commission requested funds from the Ministry of Education and we are still waiting," Ms Taches told the Business Daily in an interview.

"Once funds are available, we have finalized the compensation process and we shall disburse to the respective (PAPs) project affected persons,” she added.

In a gazette notice, the NLC sought to, on behalf of the Ministry of Education, acquire land parcels for the expansion of the university.

The Commission for University Education (CUE) authorised the setting up of Mama Ngina University College to be mentored/shepherded by Kenyatta University in 2018.

It is a constituent college of Kenyatta University (KU) and is named after the former First Lady who is also the mother of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mutomo, Ichaweri, is a small village along Kenyatta Road in Gatundu South, which is the rural home of two of Kenya’s presidents – the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and his father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

Prof Magoha visited the site in the home county of President Uhuru Kenyatta, on July 16, 2021, and announced that the institution would admit its first 90 students in September.

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