Lamu, KENYA: A new row is brewing between the National Lands Commission-NLC and the county government of Lamu over the allocation of land at the coal power plant site in Kwasasi area,Hindi division in Lamu East.
Early last week, the NLC chair Muhammad Swazuri released a list of 675 land owners who are to be compensated after their lands were earmarked for the project.
The commission also announced that each land owner would receive Sh.800,000 per acre compensation for the acquired lands and that special consideration would be paid to how much developments had been done on each piece of land.
However speaking in Lamu on Tuesday,Lamu governor Issa Timamy said majority of the landowners were not satisfied with the Sh.800,000 compensation per acre as portrayed by the lands commission.
Timamy said he stands with his people who want the amount increased and that until then the said lands remain with the owners.
“The same landowners that the NLC claim are satisfied with being paid Sh.800,000 per acre have been flocking my office asking me to intervene so that the amount can be increased since they feel it’s too little and I agree with them,”said Timamy.
Timamy has also accused Swazuri of trying to play smart with the county leadership and failing to consult or involve them whenever addressing land matters in the county.
However when contacted for comment on the allegations,Swazuri said the commission had done its due diligence and that every law and regulation had been followed to the latter in coming up with sh.800,000 per acre compensation figure.
Swazuri downplayed allegations of not involving the county leadership in its operations in Lamu and said Timamy had himself to blame as he had clearly chosen to frustrate every effort made by the commission to address land matters in Lamu.
“The governor is a committee member of the board concerned with the coal project.We met in Nairobi with him and other officials and agreed that we would have a physical planner come down and help establish the worth of that land and that’s what happened.I don’t understand why he complains and frustrates everything the commission does in Lamu,” said Swazuri.
The coal plant is worth Sh.200 billion and is under the Amu power company and is expected to generate atleast 1,050 MW of power once complete.
A total of 975 acres of land have already been set aside for the project.