18 February 2018

Kenya: Govt to Evict 700 'Invaders' From Port Land in Mombasa

The government has ordered 700 people living on 3,000 acres of land belonging to the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in Mombasa to vacate.

Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed said the families will not be compensated.

Speaking when he visited the area Saturday, Mr Mohammed said the "invaders" in the Dongo Kundu land must vacate to pave way for the development of a multibillion shillings projects including a special economic zone.

He said the development of the special economic zone, an industrial park and a berth at a cost of one billion US dollars will create jobs and boost regional trade.

INVESTORS

Mr Mohamed said the project will attract both local and foreign investors.

He decried the high level of encroachment on public property.

"Anybody settling here thinking they will be compensated is daydreaming. This land will be reclaimed for whatever use the government has for it," Mr Mohamed said.

However, Likoni MP Mishi Mboko warned the government against evicting the 700 residents of Dongo Kundu who will be affected by the development projects saying they should be compensated.

"Before KPA there were people living on that land. They were identified and we ask the government to compensate them. We will not allow our people to continue suffering in the name of development projects," said Ms Mboko.

MEETINGS

She added: "We held a meeting with the CS and discussed about the projects. I was categorical that there must be consultations and public participation involving all stakeholders including Governor Hassan Joho, political and local leaders."

Ms Mboko said the projects will not start unless the county knows the fate of its people.

"No one will be evicted in either Bububu, Mwangala or Dongo Kundu. We welcome the projects because they will create jobs but public participation is important," she added.

But Mr Mohamed said, it will be "very shameful," if such a huge investment will be interrupted or interfered with by people seeking compensation from the government.

The CS said people should refrain from settling on public land so as to be compensated.

"They came in just after we expressed interest of developing this area. The benefits these projects are going to bring to this area far outweigh some of the domestic issues where people are influenced by compensation," Mr Mohammed added.

DONGO KUNDU BYPASS

He said the Dongo Kundu bypass will pass through the area.

"We want to do infrastructural development. Power and water have to be brought here. We are at a fairly advanced stage in drawing our plans and programmes. We will engage local leaders both at the sub-county and the county level to discuss the plans and progress," he assured locals.

He asked Likoni Deputy County commissioner Erick Wamulevu to ensure there are no new encroachers on the land as the government engages those already on it.

"Anybody who is here is here illegally. We will follow the due process but people can't just walk into anybody's property and settle with a view of being compensated just because that is how things were done in the past. We want people to vacate this land so that we can start development by also putting a new berth," he added.

SECURE LAND

He asked KPA and local administration to secure the land.

"Don't get fooled by speculators whose business is to come and settle here. They should know they will be evicted. Don't waste your money by putting up some permanent structures here to ask for more money," Mr Mohammed said.

He said he will work with the Ministry of Transport to ensure the project starts, insisting that it will benefit the locals.

"This is the centre of Dongo Kundu. It is adjacent to Kilindini harbour where we want to put up a world-class industrial park and special economic zone. I am here to see the terrain of the land and the level of encroachment that has been made so far," he said.

Mr Mohamed said the mega projects will require significant investment for businesses.

More than 50,000 jobs, the CS said, will be created.

He appealed to the local administration, community and elected leaders to support the projects.

"The work is at a fairly advanced stage. It will be a world-class industrial city that is sitting right on the port on the base of the standard gauge railway station. It will be an attractive place," he added.

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