Reports by Daily Nation indicated that taxpayers could be losing a whooping Ksh 21 million on a daily basis over delayed compensation of landowners on the second phase of the Standard Gauge Railway.
A letter by the Chief Executive Officer of the National Land Commission (NLC) to the CEO of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) noted that cash, which amounted to nearly Ksh 3 billion for the stand-off period, was being accrued as payment to the railway’s contractor for idle capacity and non-accessibility to the site.
China Communications Construction Company(CCCC) stopped operations on the 120-kilometer railway line in Empaash, Tuala, Oloosirkon, Milimani, Rankau, Kandisi, Merisho, Nkoroi, Kangawa, Oloolua, Ngong, Kimuka and Suswa following disagreements with landowners over the compensation.
The railway line was estimated to cost Ksh 1.25 billion per kilometer as it transversed through the five counties of Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado, Narok and Nakuru.
EACC froze the compensation process to investigate possible inflation of costs after the landowners in Nkoroi demanded Ksh 4.2 billion.
The anti-corruption watchdog suspected the Kenya Railways and NLC officials of trying to scheme the taxpayers in the compensation process.
Some of the area residents claimed that they had not been paid a dime despite the fact that their properties were not under investigations and the demolitions having begun.
Anne Korir narrated how after living on her quarter of an acre plot for 17 years, she watched helplessly as her home, two greenhouses and livestock sheds were torn down despite not receiving a cent in compensation.
Communication between the NLC and EACC indicates that the Ksh 21 million-a-day payment had been in operation for a while and could have sparked Kenya Railways’ move to forcefully occupy land in Nkoroi two weeks ago.
However, Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia on Sunday explained that the payment clause would only apply if the stipulated construction period lapsed.
Macharia added that his ministry had sought the help of the Ministry of Interior to clear the SGR corridor in a bid to avoid the extra costs being accrued due to the stalemate.corruption suspect
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