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Hope for compensation for property owners on the railway land in Kirinyaga

The  Principal Secretary for Infrastructure, Mwangi  Maringa on Tuesday June 23, 2020 shortly after briefing the media on the ongoing gazzettement of properties on Sagana Railway Land  where he said those who acquired land genuinely will be compensated. Photo by Irungu Mwangi/KNA
Members of the public who had turned up for the tree planting event. Photo by Irungu Mwangi/KNA.

The  National Land Commission (NLC) is in the process of gazetting all buildings and properties on the prime area belonging to the Kenya Railways Corporation in Sagana town.

According to the Principal Secretary for Infrastructure (PS), Mwangi Maringa, this was after the Corporation marked all buildings and structures on its land within the town for the purpose of bringing them down to allow the ongoing revival of the rail line.

Maringa  said once the gazzettment was completed individual owners of such properties will be accorded an opportunity to explain how they acquired them for the purpose of getting compensated.

“If your property stands on private land and you genuinely acquired it, the NLC will certainly pay compensation but if it was through grabbing, then am sorry it will be brought down at your own cost,” he said.

The official said property owners and the NLC will also be able to listen to each other and come up with an amicable solution that will not leave any of the parties in distress.

Speaking  during the Public Service Day at Kithatwa dump site near Kutus town, in Kirinyaga County on Tuesday, Maringa  said the 1947 development master plan for Sagana town will be used to ascertain what area belonged to the Corporation.

“Since  Sagana town is the center of the entire Mt. Kenya region, we must safeguard all public land surrounding it more so when we have the Great North Road passing by and now the Railway line to Nanyuki having been rehabilitated for ease of transporting farm produce from the area to other towns in the country,” he said.

He said the town was key to the regional economy and as such grabbers should just surrender what they have used for many years yet it belonged to the public.

At the same time, Maringa has put on notice lorry drivers who overload their vehicles while driving along the low density roads across the country.

He said mobile weighbridges are being deployed all over to deal with such drivers where those with excess load capacity will be fined instantly.

“These fines are meant to deter other drivers since the low density roads are meant for lighter vehicles farmers use to transport their farm produce to the markets and enable them access their homes with ease , “he said.

The  PS  further criticized some local contractors for seeking for projects they have no capacity to undertake or not even being able to meet the required deadlines.

He cited the contractor for the Kutus-Kianyaga-Kiamutugu-Kithure-Kibugu road who only managed to build nine kilometres in three years while a Chinese company did the remaining 19 kilometres in only eight months.

“Much as we want our African contractors to benefit from these jobs, I am sorry most of them have become a total let down to the government and their own people,” he said.

As for the dump site, Maringa asked the stakeholders to come up with a rehabilitation road map or a plan of action and present it to his office for the purpose of funding and implementation.

Area County Commissioner, Jim Njoka said the five acre land was ideal for a park due to its proximity to Kutus town and the local University.

The  County Forest Conservator, Monica Masibo promised to supply the stakeholders with free tree seedlings for the rehabilitation of the said dump site.

By  Irungu  Mwangi

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