SCANDAL

Tolgos accuses influential people of plotting to inflate cost of Kimwarer, Arror dams land

Governor claims top KVDA officials and some individuals want cost of acre to rise Sh2m

In Summary

• The cost of an acre in most parts of North Rift region is Sh500,000.

• KVDA chief executive David Kimosop accuses the governor is propagating lies and should style up. 

Governor Alex Tolgos speaks at a church function in Elgeyo Marakwet on April 19.
Governor Alex Tolgos speaks at a church function in Elgeyo Marakwet on April 19.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

 

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos has exposed a plot by speculators to have the cost of an acre around the Arror and Kimwarer dams increased from Sh500,000 to Sh2 million.

Tolgos points an accusing finger at top Kerio Valley Development Authority officials and some influential people.

Tolgos claimed during a function at AIC Kewapsui Church in Chepkorio, Keiyo South, that KVDA had identified 11 parcels belonging to influential people in Uasin Gishu and Trans Nzoia to be sold to the National Land Commission for the resettlement of those to be displaced by the dams.

He said some people have cut deals with landowners to increase the cost of the land so that that they can get kickbacks.

“We will not allow that to happen. We have told the families to stay put on their farms until they are fully involved in the compensation plan," the governor the meeting also attended by AIC presiding Bishop Silas Yego, MPs Sila Tiren (Moiben), William Chepkut (Ainabkoi ) and area MP Daniel Rono. 

The cost of an acre in most parts of North Rift is Sh500,000. Some Sh6.3 billion has been allocated to compensate the more than 1,000 families that will be displaced in Arror and Kimwarer to pave the way for the dams.

Tolgos said he will not allow cartels to illegally benefit from the compensation for the families.

He claimed that some vehicles bought for the project have been diverted and were being hidden in the homes of some of those involved in the scandal.

But KVDA chief executive officer David Kimosop dismissed the governor's claims as cheap propaganda.

"A governor who is propagating  vendetta and lies instead of doing his work has no place in modern leadership. He should style up," Kimosop said in a text message.

“Tell him that is only in his dreams and state of his imagination. If you want the truth ask the people affected by the project in Kimwarer and Arror who have participated in the land identification."

The dams are expected to cost Sh63 billion but Italian contractor CMC Di Ravenna has been unable to move to the site. The Directorate of Public Prosecutions is investigating the possible loss of Sh21 billion in the dams' scandal.

Kimosop and Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich are among 30 people who have recorded statements with the DCI over the dams scandal.

The DCI probe and the exit of National Land Commissioners have delayed the purchase of the land.

Tolgos wants the implementing agency to consult the affected families first instead of rushing to buy land for their resettlement. He said that it was wrong to enter into a sale agreement without the people's input.

The NLC has already published Gazette Notice no 925 of February 1, 2019, that it intends to acquire the land for the project. The government had already released Sh643 million for the compensation plan.

Kimosop said due diligence was done before implementing the project.

Edited by Pamela Wanambisi