GITHUNGURI DEMANDS SH650 MILLION FOR KAREN LAND.

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GITHUNGURI
Former Kiambaa Member of Parliament Stanley Githunguri (File Photo).
BY SAM ALFAN.
Former Kiambaa Member of Parliament Stanley Githunguri has asked the High Court to compel the Lands Commission to award him over Sh650 million in compensation for a five acre piece of land in Karen.
The National Lands Commission had expressed its interest in acquiring the land, on which the Southern Bypass is supposed to cut through, but has faced opposition from Mr Githunguri over compensation.
NLC had agreed to pay to Mr Githunguri Sh155 million, but the former legislator has argued that the land was grossly undervalued, and insists it is worth over Sh650 million.
In his suit papers, Mr Githunguri said that NLC failed to consider a number of issues while valuating the land, something that led to the undervaluation.
He has alleged that the land was intended for commercial purposes, and that that NLC’s figure was not at par with other properties in the same area.
“NLC failed to acknowledge the location of the property, its proximity to the highway and reach a valuation that was acceptable to all parties. It failed to consider all the material placed before it and arrived at a decision that was wrong in the circumstances,” said Mr Githunguri.
Mr Githunguri said that he had already commenced construction of a hospitality centre when NLC decided to acquire the land, and wants it to consider that in arriving at a compensation figure.
The valuation done by NLC, Mr Githunguri added, was not backed up by any documents supplied to him, hence his decision to challenge the proposed settlement for the land.
“The appellant offered to be given alternative land in the vicinity and of equivalent size. The award of the appellant is addressed through the County Commissioner, Kiambu despite that the appellant’s address, which is part of the land in issue is in Nairobi,” added Mr Githunguri.
NLC is yet to respond to the suit despite being granted time on four different occasions. It had also been granted time to consult the Attorney General, but is yet to present an argument in Court.
The former legislator also accused assistant commissioner of lands Gitari Rwigi of usurping the powers of the NLC and of acting unilaterally in declaring the value of the land.
Lady Justice Mary Mutungi yesterday said that she would deliver a judgment on notice after NLC failed to appear in Court.
Mr Githunguri had asked the Court to determine the matter, arguing that the suit was delaying the construction of the Southern Bypass.
He wants NLC barred from accessing the land until he is compensated to the tune of Sh650 million, and also wants it to bear the costs he has incurred in lodging the suit in the Environmental and Lands Division of the High Court.
The decision to award Mr Githunguri Sh155 million was made in December last year, and he consequently filed the suit in January this year.
The construction of the Sh17.2 billion dual carriage way road has also faced opposition from activists seeking to block the acquisition of a section of the Nairobi National Park.
The High Court granted a temporary injunction barring the acquisition pending the determination of the petition by the Friends of Nairobi National Park (FONNP).
Thogoto residents had also raised concerns over eviction of over 50 to make way for the construction. The road was expected to be completed by July 15 next year but may be held back by the suits lodged against its construction.

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