Residents of Dongo Kundu in Mombasa have praised the national government for halting the compensation for families who will pave the way for the planned special economic zone.
They said the suspension of Sh1.4 billion payment will help establish genuine beneficiaries.
Three weeks ago, President William Ruto directed that the compensation be stopped, with the preliminary list having 1,759 beneficiaries.
In October, the Parliamentary Departmental Committee on Lands recommended that the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) should not pay people who do not physically occupy the land or have not developed their parcels.
Those affected are from Dongo Kundu, Mbuta, Mwangala, Mrongondoni, Kaya Mtongwe, and Siji villages.
The compensation was marred with controversy and allegations of corruption. There were fears some of the residents were on the verge of losing their rightful claims to officials working with land grabbers.
Bernard Sivai, a resident, blamed some government officials who allocated land to non-residents to make a killing through compensation.
Juma Mwalawa called on the government to increase the resettlement land from 50 by 100 metres to at least four acres.
“The exercise should be streamlined. A person with over five acre of land but is compensated with a 50 by 100 land and has a permanent house but finally get an award of Sh300,000 or Sh400,000, which cannot help someone in this harsh economic time,” said Philip Nzioka.