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November 15, 2018

Court allows Kiambu resident to go ahead with suit against road project

Traffic flow along the recently constructed Southern bypass road near the Nairobi national park in Nairobi, Kenya February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
Traffic flow along the recently constructed Southern bypass road near the Nairobi national park in Nairobi, Kenya February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

The court has given a Kiambu resident the green light to proceed with a suit seeking orders to stop construction of a road in Limuru until the

 petitioner is compensated.

Ngugi Mbugua, whose parcel of land is in Zambezi on the Nairobi–Nakuru highway, had gone to court to stop the Kenya National Highway Authority (Kenha), the National Land Commission and China Wu Yi Company from carrying out the expansion of the Sh16 billion road until he is paid in full.

 When the matter was brought before High Court judge Christine Meoli, she referred the suit to the Environment and Land Court in Thika for directions. Justice I Gacheru allowed Mbugua to serve the three respondents for the suit to proceed.

Mbugua has disagreed with the land commission on the actual size of his land that is to be hived off for road construction.

 He says in a Gazette Notice No 10477, dated October 19, 2017, NLC indicated it would hive off 0.038 hectares, yet the area marked by Kenha measures 0.053 hectares.

 The petitioner had filed his claim for compensation on November 24 last year, demanding Sh81,948,261 from the NLC. 

But the commission wrote back, awarding him Sh16,242,124 as compensation for his property, which Mbugua disputed.

 In response, he said the NLC’s offer was way below his claim and notified the court the commission has “flatly declined to reveal to me what factors or elements it took into consideration to arrive at the award of that amount.”

 The disputed land is part of the 25km James Gichuru-Rironi Junction road that is being expanded to six lanes. Other respondents in the suit are World Bank county director, the Kenya Forest Service, the National Environment Management Authority, Water and Environment executive, the Attorney General and the contractor. 

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations Environmental Programme are interested parties.

Mbugua wants the contractor, NLC and Kenha restrained from trespassing on his land, Sigona/1271, in Kikuyu subcounty.

He is also seeking orders restraining the defendants from demolishing structures, uprooting crops or plants on the land. The inter-parties hearing is set for October 1 this year.

 

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