Sh2.7 billion power project faces hurdles
KILIFI, KENYA: Planned construction of the Sh2.7 billion electricity supply station in Mariakani has been drawn into a vicious inter clan conflicts over the ownership of 7100-acres of land in Kilifi County.
On Monday irate settlers from three clans threatened to stop the construction until they are compensated for the 200 acres of land hived from the disputed larger parcel.
Hundreds of the settlers of Mwabeja, Mwamundu and Mwakai clans in Mitangoni claimed that Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (Ketraco) has failed to compensate them.
According to court documents seen by the Standard, Ketraco paid a Mr. Tsangwa Ngala Chome who claim ownership of the swathe of land almost a whole sub-location.
“We ceded part of our land to Ketraco 8 years ago only for Chome to emerge. How he was paid is a mystery to us,” said Katambe Lewa, one of the effected person.
He said that the locals would frustrate the project if Ketraco failed to compensate them adding that in eight years they have not done farming on the land.
In 2011, Chome filed a case in Mombasa claiming the ownership of the 7100acres of land, including the 200acre now owned by Ketraco, from the defunct Town Council of Mariakani.
The court papers indicate that in May7 2012 a consent was signed to give Chome the land less 200acres of land taken by Ketraco. But the locals moved to court to challenge the consent.
But while the case was in court, the National Land Commission NLC cleared Chome to obtain the title deed for the 7100-acres parcel of land sparking protests from locals.
Last week, the affected clans’ lawyer has written to the Director of Criminal Investigation DCI to investigate how the NLC facilitated Mr. Chome to obtain a title deed for the land
Public should be consulted before evictions
“The above title was obtained during the time the case was in court on August 26, 2014. There was a court order stopping any transactions on the land until determination of the case,” said lawyer Jackson Muchiri in a letter to the DCI dated July 27.
On Monday Kaloleni Mp Paul Katana was forced to plead with furious settlers not to invade Ketraco land and promised raise the matter with relevant state department.
The lawmaker intervened to defuse tension between the warring clans after the Malindi Environment and Lands Court ruled on July 19, this year that the land belonged to Chome.
“The declaration is hereby made that the parcel of land known as Kilifi/Madzimbani/Mitangoni /B/1 measuring 2.861ha is owned by the clan of Mumba Chome Ngala,” ruled Justice J. O. Olola.
Katana said that he will engage the NLC and invite the parliamentary committee on land to probe the matter. He urged the settlers to stay put and not to move out of the land.
“No one will be evicted. You are not squatters. Your great grandfather were born in this place and I want you to from committees to enable us to have dialogue,” said Katana.
According to one of the locals, Mr. Khamis Yawa, the dispute began to claim the land after KETRACO lodged a request with Mariakani Town Council in 2010 seeking for 200acre parcel.
Farmers demand pay for their land
“It was all about the compensation money. KETRACO paid out Sh.26 million for the acquisition of land but there were allot interests,” said Yawa who is affected by the order.
Other reports indicate that the power distribution state agency has since paid more than sh130 million for the land which is situated next to Mariakani 77 Barracks.
Ketraco plans to erect the power station in the area to facilitate a seamless evacuation of power from the Rabai Power plant to Nairobi through the Mombasa-Nairobi transmission line.
Ketraco said on Monday that it would issue a detailed statement on the matter later.