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Waitiki yet to be paid for 930-acre parcel, State House now reveals

COAST
By Benard Sanga | January 14th 2016

State House Wednesday said the owner of the controversial 930-acre Waitiki farm has not been paid any money for the property.

This is despite President Uhuru Kenyatta's issuance of title deeds to the occupiers of the parcel last week.

Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said in Mombasa Wednesday that the State had reached an agreement with Evanson Kamau Waitiki, but the latter was yet to make any payment.

"Waitiki has not been paid. But the Government has reached an agreement and an evaluation was done to determine the amount to be paid," said Mr Esipisu.

He, however, did not reveal the amount and when Mr Waitiki would be paid.

Some leaders at the Coast have in the past said the State agreed to pay Sh1.2 billion to the landowner.

The spokesman said the Government would pay Waitiki according to findings of the land evaluation exercise done last year, which would be recouped from the Sh184,000 to be paid by each beneficiary in order to give them a sense of ownership.

The exercise has, however, been criticised by land rights activists in Mombasa who say it could trigger land invasions by squatters with hopes that the Government would buy the land and settle them.

Wednesday, Esipisu said the national government would not waive the amount, saying that would set a bad precedent for people to invade other people's land.

"If the county government pays part of the money as it had indicated, we will subtract from the total to be paid by the beneficiaries and the balance will be divided among the settlers to pay," he said.

Mombasa County Government has said it will not waive the Sh400 million in land rates Waitiki owes the county, further claiming the deal was shrouded in secrecy.

The administration claimed it was not consulted on some agreements between the national government and the land owner.

Acting Lands Executive Anthony Njaramba said on Tuesday that Waitiki would have to pay the land rates accrued since 1997 when the squatters invaded the parcel.

In the letter dated December 31, last year, Waitiki requested to be issued with a land rates clearance certificate, saying he had not been in possession or use of the four parcels after they were invaded by squatters.

The letter was forwarded to Governor Ali Hassan Joho through Lands Principal Secretary Mariam el Maawy.

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