Residents of Nzambani ward in Kitui Central held peaceful demonstrations to demand compensation for their land which was acquired for the construction of the Kibwezi-Kabati-Migwani road.
The affected locals matched from Wikililye to the Kitui county commissioner’s office to seek audience with him over failure by the Government to compensate people displaced by the road tarmacking.
“We got our awards two years ago and we signed, gave the government our bank accounts and we are still waiting up to date. I don’t think that the government is being fair with us telling us to wait even for two weeks, we have suffered despite giving the government a listening ear but now they have ignored us and that is not fair to Kitui residents. We have suffered and because we are law-abiding citizens we could not riot.” One of the residents told Mauvoo News.
The residents claimed that the people who were compensated were not even 10 percent of the affected people and it is almost 5 years down the line and their houses were demolished and farms were taken by the Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA) but the government has been giving them empty promises.
Joseph Wambua who is the chair of the affected people said, “The KENHA people took a deaf ear implementing this project. Sometimes when we were at church we could come back home and find that the Chinese company has destroyed our farms and trees without our consent. When they came to give the award it was very clear they were giving awards in two forms; awards for improvement which doesn’t matter whether you have title deeds or not as long as you own property, the other award was for land which requires succession and they told us very clearly the assistant commissioner of lands that it will be paid through the land commission and we have all the documents but we never got the money.”
The residents also lamented that Kitui leaders have neglected them and pretended to help them but they never did that.
“We want to say that the current leaders let them know that we will make sure that they won’t continue neglecting the people of Kitui without even listening to them and going to ask the government where our money is, just that,” Wambua added.
Josephine Kihara the Assistant County Commissioner of Kitui Central pledged to the residents that the compensation process is ongoing and that they should be patient with the disbursement process.
“Some people who have not been paid have not signed their award letters and also some of them have not done their succession letters and that has made some of them not to be paid. I urge the people to bring their documents to make the process faster,” Madam Kihara said.
The residents gave the government an ultimatum of two weeks to disburse the money failure to which they will close the Kibwezi – Kitui road.