Multi-agency team set up to scrutinize SGR compensation

Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji at a past event.
Those seeking to be compensated from the Rongai–Ngong Standard Gauge Railway money will wait longer for a multi-agency team to scrutinize their claims.

The Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji Wednesday established a team to scrutinize the claims and give the way forward.

He said they are investigating some of the compensation cases, affecting those who have already been paid for the SGR land and those who are yet to be paid.

“We have agreed to start investigations immediately and we are writing to various authorities to cease all payments until investigations are complete,” he said.

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The team met Wednesday evening to chart the way forward.

The team is drawn from Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Directorate of Criminal Investigations, National Land Commission and Kenya Railways.

This means those anticipating to be paid the money will wait longer before the funds arrive in their bank accounts.

In December 2018, the Kenya Railways Corporation released Sh10.2 billion to NLC, to carry out compensation of the phase 2a section.

NLC said it had paid out Sh4 billion by last week while Sh6 billion is pending.

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The money was supposed to compensate persons along the Rongai–Ngong line, Ngong Mai–Mahiu line including the Mai Mahiu station, as well as Mai Mahiu to Suswa.

However, NLC says it has only compensated the Rongai Section, while areas particularly Ngong Station, Mai Mahiu and Suswa are yet to present their claim documents.

Some of the compensation deals for these sections considered questionable by the authorities will be investigated, and even some of those who have already been paid in the first tranche of Sh4 billion are facing investigations by the anti-graft body.

Some officials at NLC are accused of colluding with land cartels to inflate the land value and in the long run fleecing the tax payers.

From Syokimau and Ngong alone, there are approximately 1,093 parcels of land that required compensation, with that number ballooning as land owners flock to Ardhi House to pave way for the train.

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The DPP, however, insists that the intention of the multi-agency team is not to derail the SGR project, but to ensure that Kenyans are not cheated by cartels siphoning money through the compensation window.

This comes amid claims that Kenyans lost over Sh4 billion in intricate land compensation dealings that landed NLC boss Muhammad Swazuri and six others in court.

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Noordin HajiSGRSGR landStandard Gauge RailwayKenya Railways Corporation