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Landowners in Embu ask government to fast track compensation

Over a hundred residents of Mbuvori Location in Nginda Ward, Embu County, who gave up land for the construction of 63km ring road have petitioned the government to fast track their compensation.

Manyatta MP Gitonga Mukunji addressing the affected locals at Mbuvori. The government is yet to compensate them after they donated their land for construction of a 63km ring road. MWINGI TIMES/Brian Musyoka

The affected landowners said that there has been a long wait by them to see the government compensate them KSh73 million which they had agreed but since 2018 this has never been actualized.

They said they have been taken round for long wondering why the government was mean with information on how they will get their compensation.

The road famously known as Embu ring road connects the four constituencies in the county and it has costed the government KSh 3.1 billion.

Speaking on Monday at Mbuvori Shopping Centre during a meeting with KeRRA officials and area (Manyatta) MP Gitonga Mukunji, the agitated locals stated that they felt short-changed after agreement with KeRRA to give out their land for the project saying four years down the line they have not been compensated.

KeRRA officials had hard time addressing the unruly locals who wanted to hear nothing from them other than how they will get their payment.

Loss of livelihoods

James Muchangi, a resident and one of those who have been affected said many of them lost their livelihoods through damage of portions of their tea and coffee bushes they rely on as the primary source of income alongside others such as macadamia and avocado trees as well as food crops.

“These rounds we are being taken by the government that we agreed to pay us are hurting us. imagine I lost three quarters of an acre that had tea bushes which I had used to secure a Sacco loan from a bank and now am struggling to repay it. This is unfair and we need our money now," he said Mr James Muchangi, the local resident affected by the delays in compensation.

"Auctioneers the other day were in my home to take some household items to pay the loan because they think I am defaulting. We urge the government to pay us,"Muchangi added.

Moses Njeru said if the government won't compensate them, they will stage demonstrations and match to the president's office to seek assistance.  

"We cannot withstand the circles further. We will seek president's interventions because the KeRRA officials have decided to short-change us," said Njeru.

He stated that there are students still loitering at home because the parents cannot afford to take them to colleges due to financial problems.

“Some of our children who are school leavers are still at home since their parents cannot afford to enrol them in colleges to further their education owing to the losses suffered as a result of the road construction,” farmer Moses Njeru said.

MP Mukunji said that he will follow the matter to the latter to see the locals get what is due.

He stated that it has not been fair for government to fail to compensate the locals yet it was an agreement that it vowed to abide by.

"We have a new administration now and I am certain that the locals will get their pay soon. I will follow the matter to the end. It is painful that locals are seeing the road that they gave their land for construction in use yet they got nothing (in return),"said MP Mukunji said.

KeRRA said they have had a challenge with pending bills and that is why they have not been able to settle their dues adding that the contractor was also yet to be paid fully.


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