Rail faces further delay in fresh row - Daily Nation

Rail faces further delay in fresh row

Wednesday July 27 2016

Construction of the Standard Gauge Railway at Kathekani on March 17, 2016. A dispute over land that has led to the suspension of the construction of the Sh327 billion standard gauge railway is likely to cause further delay. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Construction of the Standard Gauge Railway at Kathekani on March 17, 2016. A dispute over land that has led to the suspension of the construction of the Sh327 billion standard gauge railway is likely to cause further delay. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By PHILIP MUYANGA
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A dispute over land that has led to the suspension of the construction of the Sh327 billion standard gauge railway is likely to cause further delay.

Administrators of an estate left by Mr James Kamau Thiong’o have filed an application seeking to be enjoined in the case.

They claim that land for which African Gas Oil Company Ltd is seeking compensation from the government is at the centre of an ownership and boundaries dispute.

Ms Monica Wambui, Mr Zacharia Njega, Ms Jane Njeri and Mr Joseph Kamau are the administrators of the estate of Mr Thiong’o, the owner of land whose portion was allegedly encroached on by African Gas Oil Company and a related firm.

Through lawyer Jeremy Njenga, the administrators said the estate has a legitimate interest in the land for which the fuel company is seeking compensation.

BENEFITTING FROM FRAUD

In his supporting affidavit, Mr Kamau said it is surprising that the company filed a case but did not disclose to the court the existence of a row.

“The intended interested party stands greatly affected by the outcome of the subject matter, and it is necessary for the estate’s administrators to be enjoined in the suit so that they can ventilate their case,” said Mr Kamau.

He said African Gas Oil Company will end up benefiting from an illegality and fraud by being compensated for land it does not own, which means the intended interested party will not only lose part of its land but compensation from the government.

The firm, through lawyer Michael Oloo, is opposing the application to have the four administrators enjoined in the case.

Last week, Land Court judge Ann Omollo ruled that the construction of the railway will remain suspended.

She said the work will only continue after Sh995,400,462 awarded to African Gas Oil Company and Miritni Free Port Ltd as compensation is deposited in a joint escrow interest earning account.