Nakuru County Commissioner Erastus Mbui Mwenda has expressed concern over the growing number of land disputes between the government and members of the public that quite often end up in court.
Mwenda said that the suits have stalled some road projects by over 3 years while draining the state’s resources.
“Some projects in Rongai Sub-County could have been completed by now. In the latest case a private developer put up a perimeter wall on a road reserve within Kiamunyi and moved to court when he was issued with a notice to demolish it. Such actions inflate costs because even the little that has been done goes to waste,” stated the County Commissioner.
Speaking when he led members of the County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) on an inspection tour of road projects being undertaken by Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KERRA) in Rongai and Njoro Sub-Counties, Mwenda petitioned private citizens to settle their claims against the government amicably through arbitration.
“Most of these matters can be solved by simply involving surveyors who through use of maps and ground measurements will be able to identify boundaries, way leaves and road reserves.
There is an undesirable culture spreading in the country at large. People have come to believe that every government project comes with bags of money for compensation,” said the administrator.
He affirmed that the government will demolish structures on road reserves at the cost of the encroachers and ruled out compensation for such individuals.
Mwenda indicated that delay of construction of roads has undermined efforts to improve the lives of Kenyans and create employment opportunities for the youth.
He said the Government is paying special attention to implementation and completion of projects that create direct positive impact on the lives of Kenyans and would not relent in its commitment to open up interior parts of the county for development.
Mr Mwenda noted that rainy conditions and acute shortage of bitumen in the country were some of the factors that were posing challenges to road construction projects.
The County Commissioner stated that it was incumbent upon contractors working on projects funded by the taxpayer to utilize their time well to ensure the projects don’t lag behind adding that the government was determined to weed out rogue contractors.
“Those who refuse to comply with regulations of the tender they had won will lose their contracts.
We have ruled out any further monkey business in all exchequer-funded projects. It will not be well for any contractor who causes unnecessary delays,” he warned.
By Anne Mwale