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State resolves Dongo Kundu Land Compensation standoff paving way for investments

The State Department for Investment Promotion has stepped up efforts to operationalize the 3000-acre Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone in Mombasa.

The Principal Secretary (PS) for Investment Abubakar Hassan said they have successfully resolved the land compensation row involving the Project Affected Persons (PAPs) during a multi-agency meeting to check the preparedness of the SEZ to admit investors.

The meeting at the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in Mombasa brought together Managing Directors from KPA, the Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZA), the National Land Commission (NLC) and officials from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Last year October, the Head of State halted the Sh1.4 billion compensation for the PAPs list to be audited to weed out non-residents from the list of 1759 beneficiaries not to disfranchise genuine residents.

The compensation was marred with controversies and allegations of corruption, most of the residents were on the verge of being deprived of their rightful compensation by rogue officials working in cahoots with land grabbers.

PS Hassan said after an assessment the project is ready to kick off, and all verified PAPs will receive compensation and be resettled. One investor has already set base at the SEZ and three more were admitted.

“There has been a small delay on the issue of the PAPs but the queries that were raised before have been resolved. In the next two months that PAPs issue will be no more,” stated PS Hassan, encouraging investors to apply for slots in the SEZ.

The Head of State, PS Hassan noted, had directed that to Dongo Kundu SEZ to operationalized quickly to facilitate investors entry for the people of Kenya to get economic benefits of the zone.

The multi-billion Dongo Kundu bypass is at 90 per cent completion. The dual carriageway project will play a pivotal role in the SEZ. It will facilitate the transportation of products to industries.

It will connect three main transport corridors: the Mombasa-Nairobi highway, the Mombasa-Malindi highway, and the Mombasa-Lunga Lunga highway.

“The Dongo Kundu bypass will be ready by May to connect to the hinterland. Construction of access roads to the port of Mombasa will commence in July,”

Dongo Kundu SEZ will have a power incentive of Sh10 for peak hours and off-peak Sh7.5 akin to the Naivasha SEZ.

KPA Managing Director Capt. William Ruto said they have received numerous applications from investors willing to set up businesses at the SEZ, he invited more investors.

“The government directive is that the zone should be in operation, we are slightly behind but we have solved all issues that were impeding progress,” said Capt. Ruto.

By Sadik Hassan

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