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Railway pensioners demand payment for Green Park land

 Green Park Bus Terminus Nairobi

Members of the public and transport service providers are seen at the Green Park bus terminus in Nairobi town during a test run on May 28, 2021. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The land which the terminus sits on was acquired from the 8,000-member Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme by the national government.
  • According to Henry Toili, a member of the trustees who manage the pension scheme, the government had struck a deal worth Sh7.9 billion to purchase the 18-acre piece of land.
  • The agreed fee arose from a valuation conducted by the National Lands Commission and the Ministry of Lands.

The planned opening of Sh250 million Green Park bus terminus on Tuesday is facing headwinds with Kenya Railways pensioners demanding payment for the land where the bus stage sits ahead of its opening.

The land which the terminus sits on was acquired from the 8,000-member Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme by the national government.

According to Henry Toili, a member of the trustees who manage the pension scheme, the government had struck a deal worth Sh7.9 billion to purchase the 18-acre piece of land.

The agreed fee arose from a valuation conducted by the National Lands Commission and the Ministry of Lands. However, the pensioners had valued the land at Sh17 billion.

The two parties agreed that the amount was to be paid on a monthly basis with the National Treasury remitting Sh106 million every month starting January 2021.

Last year, said Mr Toili, the government paid a lump sum of Sh1.2 billion to cover for the 12 months. However, the national government is yet to remit any funds this year.

“We are yet to receive a shilling this year. The government had promised to release Sh650 million by last Friday after pensioners demonstrated outside Treasury Building. President Uhuru Kenyatta is now planning to open the terminus yet his government is yet to honour its promise,” said Mr Toili.

“A total of 8,000 pensioners have not been paid since January yet the youngest among the pensioners is 50 years old,” he added.

On Tuesday last week, Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) announced that the terminus will start operating on Wednesday in phases after more than a year of construction and trial runs.

The opening will see all Public Service Vehicle (PSVs) plying Ngong and Argwings Kodhek roads using the terminus starting May 24. Three days later, matatus plying the Lang'ata Road route will move to the terminal.

The NMS had said in March that it planned to relocate all matatus from the city centre from this month, starting with those designated to move to the Green Park terminus.

The terminus, located at the former Lunar Park, is able to accommodate between 300 and 350 vehicles at any one time, processing about 1,000 PSVs per hour and up to 20,000 per day.

In March, NMS announced that only three matatus per sacco will be allowed to access the terminal at any given time.

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