House team orders probe into SGR land compensation


National Lands Commission chairman Mohamed Swazuri appearing before the National Assembly Lands Committee on March 29, 2017. FILE PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG

The Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly has directed the Auditor General to conduct a special audit into the Sh2.8 billion purported to have been paid by the National Lands Commission (NLC) as compensation for land for construction of the standard gauge railway (SGR).

The committee chairman, Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), said that Edward Ouko's office is required to probe the payments and furnish a report to the MPs within 60 days.

He is required to find out whether NLC ascertained the parcel numbers, precise acreage and confirmed accurate value before approval for compensation.

The committee also wants to know whether acquisition of all land was necessary and for public purpose as per the law.

"The auditor should find out whether compensation paid was fair, equitable and comparable without undue favouritism," Mr Wandayi said Tuesday.

Even as investigations are conducted, there have been claims that the exercise was riddled with over-compensation, double compensation, multiple payments in different areas and false claims.

READ: Compensation for SGR land exceeds budget by Sh2.8bn