Ronald Mwadzombo A Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) project in Kilifi North Constituency has run into headwinds after locals vowed to block it until they are compensated for their land. The project, an extension of a 220kV transmission line from Malindi to Kilifi town is caught up in a land ownership row between Konjora and Sokoke residents and Kagaa Farmers\u2019 Co-operative Society. Speaking to the media at Chando Primary School on Tuesday, the residents led by their MP Owen Baya asked Ketraco to stop any activities on the land until the compensation issue is resolved. Listed members In a Gazette Notice dated February 22, Ketracco listed members of Kagaa Farmers\u2019 Co-operative society as the ones to be compensated for the land to be used as a wayleave for the high voltage power line. Baya said members of the co-operative society obtained the land fraudulently and compensating them at the expense of locals residing on the land is to sanitise land grabbing. \u201cThe people of Kibarani who are the genuine owners of the land suffered historical injustices from previous regimes. The government is currently in the process of acquiring this land and subdivide it to the locals but Ketraco has jumped into the matrix and wants to pay people whose sanctity of their titles is in question,\u201d he said. \u201cWe will not cede even an inch of this land to people who have no ancestry to this land,\u201d he added. The power line will cross two blocks of land whose ownership is currently under dispute. Two court rulings have cast doubts on the title deeds which were processed and issued in Maragua District between 1978 and 1979. The first ruling was delivered in Mombasa on May 30, 2002 and the second in Malindi on September 14, 2016. Already, a consultant is on the ground surveying the area where the line will pass and also beaconing process is ongoing despite the headwinds. Officials from Ketraco told residents during a community engagement that the company will pay residents for the houses and trees that will be destroyed during the project but insisted that land compensation will only be to those with title deeds. Kibarani Ward Representative John Mwamutsi urged Ketraco to deposit the compensation funds with the County government of Kilifi until the matter is resolved. County government \u201cThis whole process should stop until the matter is settled. If the project must continue then the money should be deposited with the County government,\u201d he said. \u201cWe need justice for these people who were shortchanged by the previous regime and their land was taken by powerful people who were in government by then,\u201d added Mwamutsi. Chando Board of Governors chairman Arnold Bundi said the land was in the hands of a white settler who was evicted after independence in 1963. He said during the regime of President Daniel arap Moi, a minister manipulated the system to register the land in his name. Bundi claimed he later sold the land to Kagaa Farmers Cooperative Society owned by people from Murang\u2019a and Maragua.