Locals protest SGR land payout delay
Work on the 24 kilometre metre-gauge railway line from Mai Mahiu Industrial Park to Longonot town in Naivasha has been paralysed yet again by land owners.
This has raised fears that the Sh3.5 billion project may not be completed by June with fingers pointing at the National Land Commission (NLC) for the delay in compensating those affected.
This followed a peaceful protest by close to 100 plot owners, who accused the Chinese contractor and NLC, of delaying tactics in addressing the issue.
The move raises concern as to whether the railway line will be completed by next month as promised by Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia.
According to one of the affected persons, Daniel Kibunja, the railway line was in its last stages and there were fears that they could not be paid.
He said that they had on various occasions visited the offices of NLC where they had been promised payment but the promise was not fulfilled.
“We are tired of waiting and we have vowed that no work will continue until the NLC compensates us,” he said.
This was echoed by Judy Wambui, who said that her house was demolished to pave way for the railway line a year ago but she had not been compensated.
“I have been reduced to a beggar yet I had constructed a house before we were kicked out with a promise that we would be compensated,” he said.
Naivasha sub-county commissioner Mutua Kisilu confirmed the impasse adding that the NLC was dealing with the compensation issues.
“Treasury has released the finances to compensate those affected by the project and NLC is working on the compensation part of it,” he said.
For the last couple of months, affected families have paralysed work on the mega-project demanding compensation from NLC to no avail.
Speaking during a tour of the railway line last month, Macharia said that the government was keen to commence the transportation of containers from the ICD using the railway.