MPs demand report on southern bypass demolitions

August 13, 2013 3:19 pm
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Committee Chairman Maina Kamanda said home owners with valid documents suffered major losses following the demolitions and should be compensated/FILE
Committee Chairman Maina Kamanda said home owners with valid documents suffered major losses following the demolitions and should be compensated/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – The government was on Monday directed to furnish Members of Parliament with a detailed report on the circumstances in which home owners were evicted from their property to pave way for the construction of the southern bypass.

The parliamentary committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing directed the government to submit the report in the next three weeks and inform home owners whether or not they will be compensated for their losses.

Committee Chairman Maina Kamanda said home owners with valid documents suffered major losses following the demolitions and should be compensated.

“The government is required by the law to compensate those with legal documentation of their ownership as they incurred losses. However the ones without legal documents will not be compensated, “said Kamanda.

One of the home owners Rahab Kiama said she sought approval from the Ministries of Roads and that of Lands as well as the City Council before putting up 37 units in Langata, but they were demolished in July.

Kiama says the three government institutions cleared her construction and it is unfair that she has to pay for the government’s mistakes.

“Before we started construction we wrote to the Ministry of Public Works and we were assured that we were not on the southern bypass… that is when we started our construction. On the fateful day my caretaker called to report that government tractors were there to demolish our houses,” said Kiama.

She further explained that no notice was given to her as an owner and her tenants something she termed as ‘unfair.’

“We were not alerted in good time and as a result property was lost and the government owes us,” explained Kiama.

Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau was directed to coordinate the report with his colleagues at the Lands Ministry and the Nairobi County government.

The home owners blame the rouge government employees in the lands offices for giving them falsified documentations.

They also blame the government for failing to give them notices of eviction before the demolitions.

The southern bypass construction which began in May this year and is due for completion in 36 months, was built in efforts to ease the traffic snarl up on Mombasa Road.

The road will cost the government a total of cost Sh17 billion and will be used by heavy trucks transporting goods from Mombasa to Malaba.

In 2011, similar demolitions were seen in Syokimau where home owners had their houses demolished.

The then Commissioner of Lands Zablon Mabea said that most of the owners didn’t have records in the Lands Registry and this led to the demolitions.

“What we have seen are attempts by the group to legitimise fake documents. The titles and the letters of allotment are not in our records,” said Mabea in his evidence before the joint parliamentary committee probing the demolitions.

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