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Lamu leaders storm out of Lapsset meeting, demand cash for land

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Lamu leaders stormed out of a stakeholders’ meeting for the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport corridor project on Thursday.

The meeting held at Majlis Hotel on Shella island was called to discuss the acquisition of land for the Sh2.5 trillion project.

Governor Fahim Twaha, Woman Representative Ruweida Obbo, MPs Stanley Muthama (Lamu West) and Athman Sharif (Lamu East) led the walkout. 

The leaders accused the government of reneging on a promise to involve locals before making decisions. 

They said the commission has no right to allocate 70,000 acres to the Lapsset project before fully compensating landowners in Kililana and Mashunduani in Lamu West.

The NLC says they land will also cater for the Lamu Port, the Lamu-Lokichar crude oil pipeline and the railway line.

Part of the land will also be used for the controversial Sh200 billion coal power plant that will be set up in Kwasasi.

More on this: Lapsset project to be completed before 2018, Uhuru says on Lamu tour

Also read: Lamu leaders threaten to sabotage Lapsset project

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The leaders said the state is pushing for the project before all displaced people get their cash.

Shariff said, “Apparently, the government wants to offer alternative resettlement to residents whose land has been acquired for the coal project. Where is this land? The agreement was for people to get Sh800,000 per acre, no more nor less.”

Obbo wants the NLC to withdraw a title deed issued for the 70,000 acres until all loose ends are tied up.

Twaha said, “Land injustices in this region keep growing and leaders we are getting tired. People want to come and get land as if lacks owners. People have been displaced without being paid a dime. This is not fair, it must stop.”

The governor said people cannot sit in Nairobi and make decisions for the people of Lamu.

The leaders accused the government of failing to honour their initial agreement. They claimed the commission wants “to con locals of their land”.

Muthama said the state was frustrating attempts to have fishermen affected by dredging in the Lapsset project compensated. He said many fishing channels are slowly being sealed off and locals will lose their source of livelihoods. 

Petroleum PS Andrew Kamau, officials of the National Lands Commission and from the ministries of Land and Petroleum attended the meeting.

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200 homeless families seek Governments’ help to recover their land – KBC

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Hundreds of homeless families in Kinango Sub-county, Kwale County are appealing to the Government to help them repossess their land from a private developer.

The 200 families from Mwamdudu in Bonje area are accusing a private developer of colluding with top Government officials to grab their ancestral land.

Their houses were demolished with the residents saying they couldn’t salvage anything as the demolition caught them unprepared.

They condemned act saying it was inhumane and a violation of their human rights and access to justice.

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Mwamdudu secondary school, a dispensary and a children orphanage were also demolished.

Ramadhan Lewa Kalume a resident in the area dismissed claims that they had entered into a consent with the company associated with the private developer.

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 “I wish to insist that we were never consulted in the sale of the land to the private developer,” he pointed out.

The local resident allege that the demolition exercise was carried out by officers from the General Service Unit [GSU] and not regular police.

Ms. Salama Kenga, a single mother said they are spending nights in the cold with their children and appealed for Government’s intervention.

Mwanahamisi Ramadhan, a 24 years old mother of three said she only managed to rescue her three children including a one day child she had given birth to on the day the demolitions were conducted.

The distraught mother says she is surviving on handouts from well-wishers to feed her young family and is sleeping outside in the cold with her newborn baby.

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PwC lauds ease of Customs tax

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PwC has commended the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) for lifting restrictions on warehousing of goods in Customs bonded warehouses, noting that the action will enhance the competitiveness of Kenya as a global and regional logistics hub.
PWC said the policy will also boost to businesses that utilise Customs bonded warehouses to store goods, defer payment of duties and are involved in regional trade. It however called for consistency in tax law.
“We expect that with Customs having lifted restrictions on warehousing of goods will help contribute to the State’s agenda of reviving the economy in light of the ravages of Covid-19, improve cash flow and stock management for businesses,” said Indirect Taxes Associate Director at PwC Kenya Maurice Mwaniki.
“We expect this will once again enhance the competitiveness of Kenya as a global and regional logistics hub and assist attract inward investment into Kenya.”

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Kenya Revenue Authority

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Kenya: Court Cancels Former Rugby Player Alex Olaba’s Sh300,000 Bail

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Nairobi — A Nairobi Chief Magistrate’s Court has cancelled the Sh300,000 cash bail issued on former rugby player Alex Olaba, after the prosecution said he had committed an offense of conspiracy to murder while he was still face a change of gang rape.

Trial Magistrate Zainab Abdul said the accused committed the offense while he was out on bond and proceeded to threaten the complainant in the case.

Olaba will remain in custody until the two cases are heard and determined. He wull be back in court on June 3 for purposes of taking a hearing date.

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The former Kenya Sevens and Kenya Harlequins player was arrested last month by detectives for allegedly trying to hatch a plot to kill witnesses in the case.

At the same time, the Court has also barred the media from publishing images of the complainant and directed that the matter will be heard in camera.

Olaba was previously charged with Frank wanyama with an offense of gang rape in 2019. They had been found gulty and sentenced to 15 years in jail. They however appealed against the sentence and the same was quashed by the High Court on a technicality.

The duo was later arrested in 2020 and charged afresh

When the matter came up for mention in April 22nd the suspect mulamba did not appear virtually instead he told the court that he was away in Bungoma, but according to the investigating officer he lied to the court he was in Nairobi.

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