Lamu residents reject NLC’s alternative resettlement program

Lamu residents reject NLC’s alternative resettlement program

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NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri and former Lamu Governor Issa Timamy address journalists at a past function. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Lamu,KENYA:Lamu residents whose lands were acquired for the expansion and construction of the Lamu-Garsen road have flatly rejected a move by the National Lands Commission-NLC to resettle them are instead demanding monetary compensation.

On Thursday,NLC chair Muhammad Swazuri said the commission would only offer alternative land resettlemmetbto those affected and not monetary compensation.

However speaking in Lamu on Friday,the affected land owners sent a message of warning to Swazuri saying they would not accept anything less than monetary compensation for their lands.

The land owners said they have a right to be allowed to go scout for land at locations of their choice and that the NLC has no right to buy land for them.

The land owners also want all affected persons to be paid a standard amount of Sh.1.5 Million for any piece of land incorporated for the road expansion.

The residents who were mostly drawn from Witu,Pangani,Majembeni,Kibaoni,Mkunumbi,Ndeu,Sabasaba and Hindi areas have stated that they shall not accept anything other than cash money for their lands.

“We cant accept alternative land resettlement. We are are not cripples who cant scout for lands of our choice on our own.Swazuri should give us Sh.1.5 Million without bargaining.We weren’t moving out of our lands were it not for the road.We did some courtesy,let them return the same,”said Julius Munene.

According to the NLC,about 90% of the lands acquired for the road expansion are vacant and that therefore the commission looks forward to just compensating a handful individuals.

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