Lamu residents whose land was acquired for the expansion and construction of the Lamu-Garsen road have rejected a move by the National Land Commission to resettle them and are instead demanding monetary compensation.
On Thursday, NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri said the commission would only offer alternative resettlement and no money. Speaking in Lamu on Friday, the landowners said they have a right to be allowed to look for property of their choice.
They want to be paid a standard Sh1.5 million for any land acquired. The residents were mostly drawn from Witu, Pangani, Majembeni, Kibaoni, Mkunumbi, Ndeu, Sabasaba and Hindi areas. They said they will not accept anything other than cash. “We cant accept alternative land resettlement. We are are not cripples who cannot scout for land of our choice on our own. Swazuri should give us Sh1.5 million without bargaining.We weren’t moving out of our land were it not for the road. We did so out of courtesy. Let them return the same,” landowner Julius Munene said.
The NLC said about 90 per cent of the land acquired is vacant and the commission will only compensate a “handful of individuals”. Former Woman Representative Shakila Abdalla had urged the state to speed up compensation.