Lamu, KENYA: Owners of lands bordering the new Lamu port LAPSSET have issued a seven day ultimatum for the government to issue them with title deeds for their lands, failure to which they will seek legal redress to have the port stopped until their demands are met.
Speaking in Lamu on Thursday,the land owners have also accused the National Lands Commission-NLC for acquiring more land than what had been previously agreed upon and paid for at Kililana and Mashunduani two years ago.
They said the NLC had cunningly added extra acreage to officially known figure and that most of the extra land belongs to those whose lands border the Lapsset.
In February 2015,the national government issued Sh.1.3 Billion as compensation for more than 100 locals whose lands had been acquired for the new port.
Through their spokesperson Mohamed Rajab,the land owners have asked the NLC chair Mohammad Swazuri to come out clean and explain why they acquired more land than what had been paid for.
“ We are told the Lapsset has acquired 70,000 acres of land, that wasn’t the initial agreement.The money paid was for less acreage, the extra land acquired has yet to be paid for and we don’t even know if they plan on paying for it after all they acquired it cunningly.The NLC must explain all these and thereafter pay for the extra land or else we obtain a court injunction to stop the Lapsset till they do so,”said Rajab.
The land owners also raised questions with the manner in which the government was strategically increasing the number of squatters in the name of the Lapsset project.