Resident seeks to stop Sh16 billion road plan

Kiambu Governor Waititu. Petitioner wanted more than Sh81 million compensation for his property, but agency was only willing to pay Sh16 million. [File, Standard]
A resident of Limuru has gone to court to stop a Sh16.4 billion project to expand a section of the Nairobi-Nakuru highway until he is compensated for land.

Ngugi Mbugua and the National Land Commission (NLC) have also disagreed on the actual size of his land that is to be taken away. 

Mbugua says in the Gazette Notice No.10477, dated October 19, 2017, NLC indicated that it would hive off 0.038 hectares, yet the area marked by Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) measures 0.053 hectares.

The petitioner’s suit documents at the High Court show that on November 24, last year, he filed his claim for compensation, demanding Sh81,948,261 from NLC. But the commission wrote back, awarding him Sh16,242,124 as compensation for his property.

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“The award of compensation aforementioned is way below my claim amount,” Mbugua wrote in his reply to the commission.

The petitioner told court: “NLC has flatly declined to reveal to me what factors or elements it took into consideration to arrive at the award of that amount.”

Mbugua wants to stop construction of the 25-kilometre James Gichuru-Rironi Junction road that is being expanded to six lanes, until the matter is determined.

Other respondents in the suit are World Bank county director, Kenya Forest Service, National Environment Management Authority, water and environment executive, the Attorney General and the contractor, China Wu Yi Company Limited.

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations Environmental Programme are interested parties.

In his application, Mbugua wants the contractor, NLC and KeNHA restrained from trespassing on his land, Sigona/1271, that is in Kikuyu.

He is also seeking orders restraining defendants from demolishing structures or uprooting crops on the land. “KeNHA has already deployed, on site, the contractor and his heavy earth-moving equipment are raring to trample on my environmental and property rights. Thus, if the orders sought herein are not granted, I stand to suffer irreversible loss and damage,” Mbugua says in suit documents.

Mbugua says in the Kenya Gazette published on October 19, last year, that NLC showed its intention to compulsorily acquire his land.

He says the land NLC wants to  forcefully acquire hosts Graceland Memorial Park, the family shrine and heritage site that is in memory of his late parents.

The petitioner says he has over the last 14 years planted and nurtured a forest on the land in the process forfeiting obvious revenue opportunities he would have derived from developing money-making facilities like buildings.

“The mini-forest sanctuary is an essential guard against the numerous health hazards associated with motor vehicle emissions, dust and noise from the busy transnational highway abutting my property,” he said.

Justice Christine Meoli referred the suit to an environment court for directions.

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