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Swazuri: Dispute over SGR land resolved

By Antony Gitonga and Robert Kiplagat | Published Fri, January 12th 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 11th 2018 at 22:45 GMT +3
Some of the workers involved in the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in Naivasha after going on strike near Satellite center in Mai Mahiu in Naivasha. [Photo/Standard]

Controversy over compensation for Naivasha residents who gave up their land for construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) was caused by miscommunication.

National Land Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri said the contractor reported to the site before the commission had given the green light.

"Members of the Maasai community had stopped the contractor from accessing the site. However, we have resolved all the issues in today's (yesterday's) meeting and we expect the project to continue," said Dr Swazuri.

Speaking after a meeting in Mai Mahiu in Naivasha yesterday, he noted the route had been gazetted and that evaluation and compensation would follow the law.

Pastoralists along the contested route had blocked Chinese Communications and Construction Company workers from accessing the site until they were compensated.

Dispute resolved

As a result, the company directed the employees not to report to work until the matter was resolved.

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Herders accused the national government of embarking on the project before compensating landowners against an agreement they had reached earlier.

However, the Government has accused some of the herders of mischief.

Swazuri assured that anyone who gave out their land would be compensated.

"Stop the speculation. The project will only proceed after everybody had been compensated."

He also told those who had built structures along the SGR route to remove them.

Meanwhile, Naivasha MP Jane Kihara has urged the Chinese company to employ more locals.

The MP noted that most of the workers, about 80 per cent, were not from the region.

Ms Kihara said the company had denied locals jobs hence the unending squabbles. 

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