The national government has dismissed claims that the 70,000-acre land allocated to the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport corridor project in Lamu was irregularly acquired.
Two weeks ago, Lamu governor Fahim Twaha led other county leaders in a walkout from a meeting chaired by Petroleum PS Andrew Kamau in Lamu citing non-cooperation by the government.
The meeting’s objective was to deliberate land acquisition for the Lapsset project but the county leaders said the National Land Commission had refused to address their grievances.
The leaders argued that the 70,000 acres were in excess of what the NLC had made them believe was acquired for the project.
They said those concerned were not clear on whether or not those displaced would be compensated and how.
However, while defending the national government on the matter yesterday, Lamu county commissioner Joseph Kanyiri insisted that the 70,000 acres were rightfully acquired and that all legal procedures were followed.
Kanyiri said he was surprised that leaders would come up with such outrageous allegations on the matter yet they were all included and fully consulted during the entire process.
“The leaders were all consulted and they can go back to the records to prove that. The lands in question were regularly acquired and there are records to that effect. All this was done with the previous county leadership and as much as we have a new administration now, it doesn’t render decisions made by former leaders irrelevant. People should look into history records before rushing to complain; it’s unwise,”said Kanyiri.
He said there was a need for people to understand that most of the 70,000 acres were covered by water and not land as assumed by many. He said dry land makes up only 32,500 acres while the rest is in water.
“People should seek to equip themselves with the correct information before they can make any hasty decisions. At the end of the day both the county and national governments have to work together for best of Kenyans,”he said.
Kanyiri assured those displaced would be fully compensated.