Official halts Sh348 million project over land row

Homa Bay County Commissioner Harman Shambi. [File, Standard]
A dispute is brewing between the county and national governments over ownership of a piece of land earmarked for a Sh348 million project.

The land was allocated for constructing a five-storey building meant for MCAs’ offices in Homa Bay town.

In early August, the county assembly management conducted a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction work. The construction was to take one-and-a-half years.

But the project is now facing uncertainty after Homa Bay County Commissioner Harman Shambi stopped the contractor from proceeding with the work.

Mr Shambi accused the county assembly management of encroaching on the land.

The administrator said he would not allow the county assembly or any other person to transact business on land belonging to the national government.

Proper documentation

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“Let anybody claiming ownership of the land provide proper documentation to that effect. I know there are people who grabbed the national government land at the onset of devolution,” he said.

However, Homa Bay County Assembly Majority Leader Walter Muok said they were given the land by the county executive.

“We consulted Governor Cyprian Awiti who gave the county department of lands green light to give us approval document for implementation of the project. We did not grab the land,” Mr Muok said.

He blamed the county commissioner of failing to consult the assembly before terminating the project.

Muok said the assembly had written to the National Land Commission to intervene in the matter.

The proposed five-storey building will have 64 offices for ward representatives.

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Sh348 million projectHoma Bay town