, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 5- Residents of Nkoroi, Kajiado County whose houses were demolished to pave way for the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) will have to wait longer for compensation from the government.
The National Lands Commission Acting Chief Executive Officer Kabale Tache said the compensation was halted after the commission was informed that some properties were being over-valued.
“And for us to have received such a red flag we had to stop the whole process to give way for verification because it would have been very difficult for me to continue paying after 73 properties were earmarked as having been overvalued,” he said, “so my hands are tied in this case.”
Tache while appearing before the Senate Transport Committee revealed that the commission had already spent 12.6 billion shillings to compensate 20 property owners.
“As of now, we are holding Sh4.6 billion because we had already paid for 20 properties. So, when the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission warned us about the issue, we started holding meetings together and we will continue until we come up with a solution and identify the correct value of the remaining properties that we are yet to pay for,” she said.
The Commission had earlier promised to compensate the residents beginning June 18 before the process was halted by EACC.
The committee members led by their Chairman Senator Kimani Wamatangi (Kiambu) faulted the commission for delaying the compensation accusing them of not doing their due diligence to know the value of the properties before they were destroyed.
“There should be a considerate procedure that is followed before you destroy a property and start the process of compensation. Why wait until these properties have been destroyed to say they are being overvalued?” Wamatangi wondered.
His sentiments were echoed by other members who felt the compensation was being done in unfair manner.
“The constitution dictates that any compensation should be done fairly and prompt, but I think NLC are not being fair I their process because why compensate only 20 property owners and leave the others. This shows they are not doing it in good faith,” said Nandi senator Samson Cherargei.
For a moment, the session became emotional after Kamau Githua a resident in Nkoroi narrated how SGR contractors mishandled his family and demolished his house.
The over 90 years old man said his rights were violated and wondered why the unfortunate incident had to happen to him after many years of toiling just to give his family a decent home.
More than 90 properties including palatial homes were destroyed in Nkoroi last month to pave way for SGR Phase 2 development.