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Mwangala Residents want state to review land compensation mechanism

Residents of Mwangala in the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone (SZE) want the government to review the land compensation mechanism.

The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) developed a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) for Dongo Kundu. KPA will resettle 1648 residents from Dongo Kundu, Mwangala, Mrongondoni, Kaya Mtongwe, Mbuta, and Siji villages on 357 acres of land.

The RAP has a compensation component for 2,585 structures that will be affected by the construction of the SEZ.

The residents are calling for the intervention of both the national and county governments to convene a meeting and listen to their grievances.

“We are not against the project, but the project is shrouded in secrecy. A person who has built a house, but when he goes there to follow up on compensation, he is told that there is no house and that he will not be paid anything,” said Lilian Nabwire, a resident of Mwangala.

Nabwire lamented on the unruly behaviour of officials handling the compensation, saying their cries have fallen on deaf ears.

“There are people who have received an award of Sh 2,000. How will this help a person who has been farming here all these years? A person with two plots is chastised even though he bought the plot himself,” lamented Nabwire, appealing to the head of state to intervene.

Philip Nzioka echoed Nabwire’s sentiments, saying the National Land Commission did not have consultative meetings with affected residents to inform them of how the valuation was done.

“We should know how much money a fruit tree is paid; we ask the NLC to involve all departments such as agriculture and housing to know the value of our trees and houses. If we inquire, we don’t get favourable answers; people answer as they want,” said Nzioka.

Pastor Benson Savai planted more than 3,000 trees on a five-acre parcel of land, but the compensation was awarded to another person who laid claim to the parcel of land near the Mteza Bridge.

“When I went to receive my NLC award, I was told that it had been given to someone else whom we do not know. I wonder where we will find justice,” said Pastor Savai.

Pastor Sivai added that places of worship have been allocated small pieces of land in the resettlement plan, hindering future expansions.

Salim Kilo said they have been shortchanged as the money they have been awarded is paltry in comparison to the investments in their lands.

By Sadik Hassan

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