Leaders raise alarm over grabbing of road reserves in Kitui

Members of the Kitui County Development Implementation Coordination Committee have expressed concern over encroachment and erection of illegal structures on road reserves in the County.

The members of the Committee chaired by the Kitui County Commissioner Mbogai Rioba regretted that the illegal structures standing on the road reserves were posing danger to road users.

The County leaders who are Committee members that oversees the National Government Development implementation coordination projects at the County levels, regretted that some of the illegal structures on road reserves are public structures put up recently by Kitui County Government.

According to a report from Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) and presented to the Committee meeting, encroachment of road reserves was notorious at Ikanga Trading Centre situated along Kibwezi – Mutomo – Kitui Road, where local traders have recently encroached the road.

The traders had been chased away from the road reserves two years ago and their structures demolished during the construction of the road but have gone back.

“Some of the traders at the Ikanga Trading Centre had been chased away during construction of Kibwezi – Kitui – Mutomo road, but have recently gone back and erected structures. The traders are going back after they obtained plot allocation documents issued to them recently by   the Kitui County Government,” the Report further indicated.

KeNHA lamented that the road reserves plot allocation authorities and land grabbers have ignored its road demarcation signs.

The Highway Authority and other national roads authorities, including Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) and Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA), who also are members of the County Development Implementation Coordination Committee, requested the Committee Chairman who also is Chairman of the County Security Committee to help in eviction and demolition of illegal structures standing on road reserves.

Kitui County Government show room constructed recently on a road reserve. The structure is posing danger to road users and KeNHA has written to Kitui County Government for its demolition.

On funds for compensation of land owners who have not been paid for compensation and yet their land was taken away during the construction of the Kibwezi – Mutomo – Kitui – Kabati – Migwani Road, the report said that the government is yet to release a total of Sh1.9 billion meant to pay the land owners.

The report further appealed to the land owners for patience, regretting of their plight   for over two years waiting for compensation.

“Scores of the land owners have been staging peaceful demonstrations frequently outside my office demanding for their land compensation and am also feeling their pain,” the County Commissioner said.

The Committee Chairman added that he has been following up the compensation funds with the concerned authorities, promising to continue seeking the compensation funds until the land owners are paid.

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