Court orders Ketraco to pay Sh7.5 million to four landowners
A court has ordered a firm that operates electricity transmission infrastructure to pay four landowners Sh7.6 million.
The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) had sued Lpeton Lengidi, Daniel Lejoon Nlengidi, William Lchada Lenkidi and Lesauti Lenkidi in July last year after they refused to surrender 15 acres for Sh400,000 an acre.
Ketraco then went to the Environment and Lands Court in Nyahururu, seeking orders to forcefully access the properties as well as compensation for losses incurred after erection of the Loyangalani-Suswa power line was temporarily halted.
Last February, Ketraco erected transmission lines on the defendants’ land without the latter’s consent.
The company argued that the failure by the four landowners to accept its offer had disrupted the installation of key infrastructure.
According to Ketraco, the landowners were first offered Sh100,000 per acre after a valuation done by the National Land Commission in April 24, 2014, but they rejected the offer.
The company said after several meetings they raised the offer to Sh250,000 and later to Sh400,000 per acre but the landowners still refused to sell.
Ketraco argued that other landowners along the way-leave were paid Sh250,000 for every acre, adding that those who held out were demanding Sh5 million per acre.
But the four landowners, in their defence, accused Ketraco of offering compensation below market value and filed their own land valuation report, which showed that their parcels of land were worth more.
They summoned a land surveyor, Samuel Kanyi, who testified that the four parcels of land were worth more than Sh8 million.
Mr Kanyi said the properties were valued differently because of their proximity to social amenities such as shopping centres and a primary school.
Justice Mary Oundo, in her ruling, ordered Ketraco to pay Sh1.9 million to Mr Lejoon for the loss of 4.45 acres, Sh2 million to Lpeton for the loss of 5.19 acres, Sh2.4 million to Mr Lchada for the loss of 4.69 acres and Sh800,000 to Lesauti for the loss of one acre.
Lesauti was also awarded Sh178,000 for trees cleared on his land.
Justice Oundo further ordered Ketraco to pay Sh100,000 to each of the four landowners for violating their constitutional rights by forcefully entering the land and erecting power lines.
“I am satisfied that the plaintiff’s entry and laying of electricity power lines on a portion of the suit properties herein was illegal and unconstitutional,” she ruled.
She dismissed Ketraco’s compensation claims for lack of evidence.