UNENDING FRUSTRATION

Wamatangi demands payment for those affected by Gichuru-Rironi Road expansion

The Sh16 billion World Bank-funded project has affected people in parts of Westlands, Uthiru and Rironi

In Summary

• Bill being drafted for compensation to be paid before a project starts 

• Government accused of dragging its feet although the matter was finalised last year

Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi
BUSINESSES COUNTING LOSSES: Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi
Image: FILE

 

The government has been urged to promptly compensate those affected by the expansion of the James Gichuru-Rironi Road.

Senator Kimani Wamatangi said traders and residents whose houses, businesses, churches and other facilities need to be compensated for them to resume their day-to-day activities.

Wamatangi, who is the Senate Transport committee chairman, accused the government of "dragging its feet, making people suffer" even after issue of compensation was finalised early last year.

The Kiambu senator spoke on Sunday at Word Outreach Church in Kinoo. He said that residents are getting impatient.

"For the last two years, they are asking when they are going to be paid," he said.

Those affected are from parts of Westlands, Kangemi, Uthiru, Kinoo, Gitaru, Muguga and Rironi.

Wamatangi cautioned of brokers pretending to help the affected people access compensation.

"We are asking our people to avoid falling into the trap of brokers," he said.

The senator, who was welcomed at the church by Bishop Ruth Mwanza, said people will be compensated for the closure of their businesses while building owners will be awarded differently.

Wamatangi said a bill was being drafted to ensure that people were compensated before the project starts.

The expansion of the 26km World Bank-funded project will cost Sh16.4 billion.

People Affected by Project chairman Kimani Njuki said they have been to the Ministry of Roads, the National Land Commission, Parliament, Senate and other offices demanding compensation.

Njuki said they will not stop pushing until the more than 3,000 people are compensated. 

"Our people who had built flats were left paying loans on their own since tenants moved away. What are we expected to pay those loans with?" he asked.

Njuki said the design of the road also forced the closure of businesses.

He cited Jacmil Mega Supermarket in Kinoo which had more than 30 employees, but today has fewer than 10. It operates as a retail shop.

"No one sees where the shop is. It has been covered by tall walls of the ongoing road's construction. The owners are almost closing," he said. 

Edited by R.Wamochie 

Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi listens to Kimani Njuki of People Affected by Project on Sunday.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi listens to Kimani Njuki of People Affected by Project on Sunday.
Image: GEORGE MUGO