10 February 2014

Kenya: State's Bid to Buy 390 Acres for New Railway

The government has begun acquiring land along the Mombasa-Nairobi rail corridor for the standard gauge railway.The National Land Commission has notified 27 landowners of intentions to buy their land.

NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri said those affected in the first phase of the acquisition are landowners in Taita Taveta, Kwale and Makueni counties. Some 391.6 acres will be bought in the first phase.

Swazuri said the landowners will be compensated after an evaluation on their land and according to the framework stipulated by the land compensation authority run by the National Housing Corporation.

"In pursuance of the transitional provisions contained in section 162 (2) of the Land Act and section 6 (2) of the Land Acquisition Act (repealed), the National Land Commission gives notice that the government intends to acquire the following parcels of land for the Kenya Railway Corporation for the construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge railway in Taita Taveta, Kwale and Makueni counties," the gazette notice reads.

"Plans for the affected land may be inspected during office hours at the offices of the National Land Commission, Ardhi House, 1st Ngong Avenue, 3rd Floor room No 305 and at respective land offices in Makueni, Wundanyi and Kwale."

The notice for the inquiries will be published in the Kenya gazette after 30 days as per section 112 (1) of the Land Act of 2012.

According to the notice, the biggest losers of land in this first acquisition will be the Kenya Wildlife Service, which is expected to surrender 101.7 hectares (251.3 acres). This is likely to trigger confrontations between wildlife lovers and government.

The others are South Samburu Group ranch (70.02966 acres) and Mwavumbo Group Ranch (34.71 acres). The rest of the land is owned by individuals and is below seven 7 acres per holding.

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