Counties

Lapsset works risk delay on failure to pay land owner

nlc

National Land Commission acting CEO Kabale Tache when she appeared before a parliament committee on May 9, 2020. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE

The National Land Commission has been ordered to convene a meeting within 45 days to determine compensation due to a proprietor of land acquired for construction of Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor (Lapsset) project.

In default, the Environment and Land Court ordered that an injunction shall be issued upon the expiry of the 45-day period restraining NLC, Lapsset Corridor Development Authority and Kenya Ports Authority from remaining on the parcel of land which belongs to Nightshade Properties Ltd.

Justice James Olola, sitting in Malindi ruled that the Constitution dictates that where land is acquired, just compensation is to be paid promptly to owners whose interests in the land have been determined.

He further noted that it was evident that the respondents have been on Nightshade Properties Ltd’s land since 2016 and by June 2017, they were aware that its right over the land had been ascertained.

“No explanation has been offered by any of the respondents as to why by November 30 2019 when this petition was filed, Nighshade Properties Ltd remained uncompensated for its property that was compulsorily acquired,” noted Justice Olola.

The judge also noted that the fact that compensation had not been paid does not invalidate the process of compulsory acquisition.

Nightshade Properties Ltd told the court that it is the registered proprietor of the 100 hectares of the land in Mokowe, Lamu.

It said that on December 7 2011, NLC through the Registrar of Titles in Mombasa cancelled its title to the land prompting it to move to court to have it quashed.

NLC neither participated in the case nor filed a response.