Two lists emerge for Kajiado landowners’ SGR payment

Workers on the standard gauge railway
Workers on the standard gauge railway. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

Land owners in Kajiado County whose land was taken for the construction of Phase Two of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) will receive their compensation cash in two weeks’ time.

Transport chief administrative secretary (CAS) Chris Obure told Parliament the ministry has written to the Treasury seeking urgent action to compensate land owners in Kajiado East Constituency after the residents petitioned Parliament.

But it emerged that the land owners will be paid based on a second list that the National Land Commission (NLC) revised following protest by civil society groups that the first list offered extremely high compensation rates.

“The payments will be based on second schedule provided by NLC after conducting a validation on the compensation figures. I hope it is consistent with the figures they provided through the first list.

“We will provide these two lists on October 25, 2017 and establish facts relating to corporate social responsibility and what the contractor, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) intends to do as well as obligations under that agreement,” Mr Obure told the committee on Transport.

The acceleration of the payment has been prompted by Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko after she accused the NLC and the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) of reneging on their promise to compensate the land owners.

Mr Obure told MPs that the delay in payment was caused by complaints by certain individuals who claimed that the reward was too high hence forcing the NLC to re-evaluate the amounts awarded.

The committee that was temporarily chaired by Mumias West MP Johnson Naika postponed the meeting when it emerged that there are two lists on the compensation figures.

“We will go by the list that offered the highest compensation or that which reflects what NLC agreed with individual land owners. We want those lists tabled before us in the next meeting,” Mr Naika ruled.

The property owners allowed the CRBC and KRC an early entry into their land as they await compensation. The land owners had agreed with the NLC on the compensation amount before the re-evaluation of the awards.

Ms Tobiko accused the Chinese contractor and KRC of causing environmental damage in the constituency and in return failed to repair the damages.

“My constituents are suffering but they were given letters of undertaking by NLC that they will be compensated. The Chinese company requested early entry using KRC, administration and police" she said.