, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 23 – The High Court in Machakos on Thursday suspended the construction of a section of the Sh300 billion Standard Gauge Railway line in Kibwezi West constituency.
This is after Kibwezi West Member of Parliament Patrick Musimba moved to court to challenge the manner in which the Kenya Railways Corporation and the National Land Commission are acquiring land in parts of the constituency.
The court also restrained the Railways Corporation, National Land Commission and National Environment and Management Authority from continuing with the process of compulsorily acquiring or compensating the residents until the case is finalised.
Musimba through lawyer Kethi Kilonzo argued that the process and procedure adopted by the respondents to acquire land from area residents has been conducted in contravention with the Lands Act.
The National Land Commission is in the process of acquiring land in Kibwezi West constituency for and on behalf of Kenya Railways Corporation.
In the urgent case, Musimba claims the acquisition process is in contravention of the Constitution, Land Act, National Land Commission and Environmental and Management Coordination Act.
According to the legislator, in some instances the measurements of the parcels of land of the affected residents were wrong.
He further says the process of survey of the parcels of land to be acquired was conducted in breach of the rules of natural justice and contrary to the principle of accountability and transparency.
Section 111 of the Lands Act, Musimba argues, requires that just compensation be paid to the person whose interest in law has been acquired.