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A compensation claim of KES 20.18 has been filed against the County Government of Siaya for involuntary land acquisition and disturbance of residents from ancestral property in various parts of Siaya County .

The petition is pegged on specific development and implementation of county Physical and Land Use Plans drawn by the County Government of Siaya.

The 23-page petition states in part: ‘The Governor CGS resuscitated abandoned contracts and in collusion with Siaya County Assembly on 22nd November 2022, approved supplementary budget 2022/2023 that among others included land use plan for Bondo Municipality at Ksh 17.9 million and land use plan for Ugunja Municipality at Ksh 15 million. On 12th October 2023 Governor Orengo launched in a colorful ceremony and operationalized 15.625 Billion worth Siaya County Physical and land use plan 2023 – 2032, a plagiarized replica of the 2018-2028 County spatial plan. The plagiarized plan was approved by Siaya County Assembly on 29th March 2023 through Hansard number 18; certified on 24th July 2023 by Plan. Maurice Ondeyo Ochieng (County Director of Physical and Land Use Planning); recommended on 23rd July 2023 by Maurice Otieno Mc Orege (CECM – Lands, Physical Planning, Urban development); and endorsed by Siaya Governor H.E. James Orengo on 24th July 2023″.

The Petitioner further claims that the County Government of Siaya failed in observing statutory requirements governing the transfer and allocation of land for public utilisation.

Access to information: Duty bearers should provide information in acceptable, easy to use formats. The County did not provide the original cadastral map and the revised cadastral map overlaying the projects proposed. The project deliverables including Inception report, Baseline / Situational Analysis Report, Stakeholder Engagement Reports / Draft Physical and Land Use Plan were not provided for public scrutiny and/or comments

Opportunity for balanced influence: The engagement rules should ensure a balance of opinion and avoid dominance or bias by a section of the public. The County Government did not follow the legal procedure for proper, elaborate and participatory process for land acquisition as detailed below;

Step 1: Formal request to the Commission by the County indicating the purpose for which land is to be acquired. The request should have proved that the land is needed for public purpose

Step 2: Consideration by the commission and approval if it meets the Constitutional and Statutory threshold (public purpose).

Step 3: Publication of notice of intention to acquire land is published in the Kenya Gazette. The Commission was to undertake public sensitization and participation by holding meetings, workshops and any other appropriate fora to inform the public about the proposed project and matters pertaining to procedure, expectations and responsibilities of stakeholders in the land acquisition process.

Step 4: Ground inspections and valuation to record any improvements affected by the proposed project.

Step 5: Publication of notice of inquiry in Kenya Gazette, service of notice and holding of inquiry: This allows persons interested in the subject land to submit their claims.

Step 6: Issuance of an award of compensation to every person determined to have an interest in the land; Land Lord, Leaseholder (building) or Sublease Holder (Loss of profit).

Step 7: Payment upon receipt of funds.

Step 8: Issuance of Notice of Taking Possession

Step 9: Final Survey and vesting of the acquired land

The County Government of Siaya is accused of negligence and intentional non-compliance with standard land acquisition regulations.

Efforts to reach CECM Lands and the Director on Friday night bore no fruits.

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