Ketraco Ordered To Deposit Sh66M In Land Ownership Case

by Lawyer Alex

The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) has been directed to deposit Sh65.7 million in an interest earning account, pending the determination of a case filed by a firm seeking compensation for allowing transmission lines through its land in Naivasha.

Justice John Mutungi noted that Ketraco and Prigal Ltd and Mr Michael Mwangi Muturi had agreed on the compensation for the State corporation to construct transmission lines passing through four parcels of land in Naivasha.

However, the judge was informed that National Land Commission (NLC) had flagged off that part of the land in Karati belonged to Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro).

“It is my considered view that both the interest of the petitioners and the respondent can be served if the respondent is required to pay the compensation into an interest earning bank account operated jointly by the representatives of the petitioners and the respondent pending the determination of the ownership dispute respecting the suit parcels of land,” the Judge said.

He directed the money to be deposited at Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) within 45 days.

Prigal Ltd argued that it is the registered proprietor of the three parcels while Mr Mwangi owned another piece. The court heard that Ketraco approached them for way leave for the Olkaria- Lessos-Kisumu Transmission line.

The parties settled on Sh65.7 million but the Ketraco later suspended plans to pay arguing that NLC had revoked the titles through a gazette notice, because the land they were claiming belongs to the government.

Ketraco then notified them of the suspension of the compensation until the issue of ownership of the affected properties was verified.

The state corporation said it had not refused to pay except that there was a dispute as to the ownership of land.

Mr Johnson Muthoka, a senior manager wayleave acquisition said until the issue of ownership was clarified with the NLC, it would be acting imprudently if it processed the compensation to the petitioners.

He said the company was accountable to the public in the usage of funds entrusted to it as a fully owned state corporation. He added that Ketraco would be ready and able to pay the compensation once the issue of the ownership of the suit properties was settled.

But the land owners told the court that the NLC decision has been challenged in court and the decision suspended.

The judge said until the court makes the determination on the validity NLC’s decision, recommending the revocation of the titles, the two owners continue to have an interest in the properties.

“On the other hand if the properties are decreed to be government property, the Respondent will recoup the money together with the accrued interest and will thereby have safeguarded public funds,” the Judge said.

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