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September 21, 2018

Pay first, landowners in bypass project say

National Land Commission vice chairperson Abigael Mukolwe when she appeared before the Parliamentary Lands Committee on April 25, 2018. /Jack Owuor
National Land Commission vice chairperson Abigael Mukolwe when she appeared before the Parliamentary Lands Committee on April 25, 2018. /Jack Owuor

People whose land has been earmarked for construction of the Eldoret Town Bypass have promised not to surrender their land until they are compensated.
During a meeting at the Uasin Gishu county government offices on Wednesday, the landowners said they are being taken round in circles by the Kenya National Highway Authority and the National Land Commission.
Their spokesman Henry Maiyo said NLC and Kenha are unwilling to pay. During a meeting attended by their lawyer Zephaniah Yego, the landowners said they were told not to interfere with the land. They said since no government agency is committing itself to the compensation they will not allow contractors China Wu Yi to start working. The project was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta after it was gazetted in March 2016.
The landowners met Uasin Gishu deputy governor Daniel Chemno but no progress has been made. The bypass will go through Kesses, Kapsaret and Turbo. They said they would instruct their lawyer to seek legal redress if no action is taken by September.
In July, the NLC said more than 1,500 families to be displaced by the Eldoret Southern Bypass will be compensated. Chairman Muhammad Swazuri said the families will be paid before the project starts and after land acquisition is finalised. The road will stretch from Cheplaskei to Maili Tisa. The families have threatened to disrupt the project over delayed compensation of more than Sh1 billion.

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