NLC report raises red flag over major road projects payouts
Mercy [email protected]
A search to determine ownership and lawful occupation of parcels of land acquired by government institutions, for the expansion of the Outering Road was never undertaken, a special audit conducted by the National Land Commission (NLC) has revealed.
According to the report compiled by the Auditor General Nancy Gathungu, NLC based its justification to pay billions of shillings for the land on the repealed Lands Acquisition Act Cap 295 and therefore lacked the legal basis to apply this provision in processing land transactions.
The acquisition of the land was triggered by the need for expansion of the Outering Road.
The road serves the public and is a link road from Northern Airport Road to Thika Super Highway.
The 13-kilometre road was constructed at a cost of Sh14 billion and completed in June 2017.
The report comes hardly a month after Kenya secured a $59 million (Sh6.4 billion) loan to build special lanes for high-capacity buses connecting the Eastern Bypass to Thika Super Highway.
National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said the loan from Korea’s Export-Import Bank, will see the start of the project adding that the Outer Ring road to Thika Road, will be remodeled to accommodate support facilities such as boarding stations and footbridges.
At the same time, the report also raised the red-flag over the compensation for the Eastern Missing Link Road and Meru Western and Eastern Bypass where the same person, is said to have been compensated.
The individual known as Yogesh Patel, the report says was compensated for the two roads thereby raising questions over the ownership of land.
“The special audit noted the appearance of the same owner of a compensation of Eastern Missing Link Road-Nairobi and Meru Bypass and raised a red flag,” reads the report in part.
With regards to Meru Western and Eastern Bypass, the lands commission paid a total of Sh752.3 million to those affected by the project.
According to the report, valuation compensation schedules availed were not dated and not signed by the valuer, and therefore lacked ownership, credibility and objectivity.
In some circumstances, the size being acquired was not indicated which leaves room for manipulation, says the Auditor General.
“In such circumstances, it was not possible to ascertain the period when the valuation exercise was carried out and the basis/ criteria used in determination.
The special audit therefore questions the entire valuation process for the compensation of land amounting to Sh715,355,300 if indeed these were done in a lawful and effective manner,”adds the report.
With regards to Eastern Missing Link Road-Nairobi, the special audit raises concern on what necessitated the change in design and the values involved to justify various variations that were done.
Kenya Urban Roads Authority disbursed Sh1billion to be paid off as compensation in respect to compulsory acquisition of the road.
This follows an amendment by NLC for a parcel of land 1870/1/203 registered in the name of Yogesh Patel - Kenroid Ltd measuring 0.0135 Ha and de-gazetting parcels of land measuring 0.6478 ha, which had been earlier included in the notice of intention to acquire dated March 6, 2015.