Malindi Airport expansion halted as Swazuri revokes KAA land valuation

NLC chair Muhammad Swazuri addressing residents of Kwa Chocha South in Malindi county, February 27, 2017. /ALPHONCE GARI
NLC chair Muhammad Swazuri addressing residents of Kwa Chocha South in Malindi county, February 27, 2017. /ALPHONCE GARI

The National Land Commission has revoked valuation by the Kenya Airports Authority to compensate 130 families occupying land earmarked for the first phase of the Malindi Airport expansion.

Last Wednesday, KAA said they would compensate residents on an individual basis and had deployed surveyors on the ground to map and identify those affected.

Malindi Airport manager Walter Agong said will proceed as it is a government project.

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But NLC chair Muhammad Swazuri said the 2012 evaluation at Kwa Chocha South area is not recognised by the commission.

"Under the new constitution, it's the National Lands Commission which is mandated to acquire land for the expansion of the airport, therefore the 2012 valuation shall be set aside," he said on Monday.

Swazuri was speaking during a meeting with residents amid anxiety on would be complete.

He said there was a lack of funds, but assured that NLC has now released Sh300 million to compensate the families.


Swazuri said the Transport ministry wrote to the commission on the matter and NLC gazetted it on January 13. He said they shall soon send a letter of inquiry.

"After inquiry we shall send officers for inspection of property. We shall go and demand titles and question their legality. Whoever obtained title deeds illegally shall lose the ownership documents, while the genuine one shall be compensated," he said.

Swazuri said by April, they will have completed the process of compensation at Kwa Chocha south before moving to other areas earmarked for expansion.

He said squatters at Lights area shall also be compensated to pave way for development.

The chair said those in Kisumu Ndogo, also earmarked for the expansion of the runway, are also in the NLC compensation plan.

Swazuri noted that previously, people were being misled about the constitutional process of land acquisition in an area earmarked for the expansion of the airport.

"The airport expansion plan was there long before. The first airstrip was at Eden rock before it was moved to the current area. The problem is that the colonials never communicated to the public but the records are there and the project has to be implemented," he said.

Immediately after his speech, residents seemed to be satisfied with his explanation and blamed KAA for misleading them.

They demanded for the disbandment of the old committee, citing lack of trust.

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