Land owners cry foul over LAPSSET compensation program by NLC

Land owners cry foul over LAPSSET compensation program by NLC

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National Land Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri. He has denied claims that individuals were not compensated for Lapsset land. FILE/PHOTO

Lamu, KENYA: A fresh row is brewing between a section of land owners at the new Lamu port LAPSSET authority and the National Lands Commission-NLC, over the allocation of 70,000 acres of land to the authority.

The land owners who were all compensated millions of shillings for their lands acquired for the port in 2015 by the national government; now say the 70,000 acres of land is more than what had been previously agreed upon.

They have threatened to head to court if the NLC does not either revoke the allocation or have them compensated for the second time for the lands.

The over 500 land owners now claim the national government is molesting them by taking more than what was agreed upon and paid for.

They now want president Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and have the matter resolved.

The land owners have also appealed to the NLC to ensure all lands bordering the LAPSSET are accorded title deeds so that they are not mistakenly allocated or confused with the port lands.

“They shouldn’t take advantage of the fact that lands bordering the LAPSSET don’t have titles.If they want more land they should follow due procedures and pay for it,”said Mohamed Rajab.

Others said they would take the matter to court if need be.

“They should just take what they paid for and shouldn’t molest us over what’s rightfully ours. We will head to court if the NLC doesn’t cancel that allocation,”said Bakari Bwanamkuu.

When contacted,NLC chair Muhammad Swazuri said the commission had all the rights over the land and that officially,the land belonged with the LAPSSET.

He said the 70,000 acres shouldn’t b confused since they had already been set aside for the function since 2011 and asked those complaining to stop.

Swazuri said the commission shall not compensate any other person for the LAPSSET lands since that chapter had long been ‘closed’.

READ ALSO: Millions of shillings used to compensate ghost land owners for LAPSSET, report shows

The county government of Lamu has also opposed the allocation of the 70,000 acres to the LAPSSET authority on grounds that the lands are occupied by squatters while governor Issa Timamy has said the stand remain until the NLC holds talks with the county leadership over the same.