The first phase of compensation for landowners affected by the standard gauge railway (SGR) project was marred by confusion Tuesday with more than 2,000 residents expressing disappointment.
A November 29 press statement from Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) had announced that the compensation would start on December 1. This did not happen and hundreds of land owners gathered at Mwavumbo in Mariakani yesterday were a disappointed lot.
A later statement from KRC stated that some details were “still being worked on” before the landowners can be compensated.
“It is not possible to state the amount to be paid to people affected by the project (PAP) along Mariakani-Athi River area. Moreover, any payments being made to individuals are confidential,” read a statement by Railway track engineer Tobias Otieno.
Mr Otieno noted that payments would be made directly to respective land owners’ accounts and “there will be no ceremony, formal or otherwise, for making the payments”.
The press statement said the land owners to benefit from Phase One compensation are from Mariakani, Taita-Taveta, Makueni, Machakos, Mtito Andei and Kiboko.
The statement further indicated that beneficiaries between Mariakani and Voi were to be paid yesterday while those from Mtito Andei, Kiboko and Athi River were to receive their cash in the first week of December.
“National Land Commission (NLC) approval is being sought for release of funds and payment will be completed before end of 2014,” it added.
In some sections of the project between Mombasa, Mariakani and Athi River, design and route mapping of the land was almost complete and gazettement would be done once technical and legal process is complete,” Mr Otieno noted.
He urged the beneficiaries who had not provided their bank information to do so urgently.
In an earlier statement, KRC managing director Atanas Maina said more than Sh5 billion had been released to compensate about 2,000 beneficiaries.
Tuesday, NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri said he was not aware that compensation had started.