Nairobi, April 26, 2023
Cabinet Secretary Zachariah Njeru today became the second CS to appear before the Senate following the introduction of new standing orders allowing CSs to answer questions on the floor of Parliament.
He appeared before the Senate after his Internal Security counterpart Kithure Kindiki.
The CS was summoned to answer questions raised by Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dulo who wanted to know the reasons for the disparity in compensation between residents in Nuno Modogashe and Isiolo affected by the Africa Gateway project.
The Senator wanted the CS to further provide the criteria used in determining the compensation figures and what measures are in place to ensure equitable compensation in such cases.
On the question of why there was a disparity in the compensation, the CS said that question would be fully answered by the National Land Commission.
The Speaker of the Senate, Amason Kingi, immediately gave a ruling summoning the NLC chairman to appear before the relevant house committee to provide all the required answers. The NLC chairman can appear before the House Committee but not on the floor of the House.
The Speaker said Constitutional commissions should work in tandem with their line Ministries and should provide adequate answers to all questions posed to Cabinet Secretaries.
The CS also informed the Senators that the Ministry of Lands, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development was in the process of creating a Land Value Index which will be used in matters related to compensation.
“The Ministry of Lands is coming up with a National Land Value Index to make compensation for land uniform,” said the CS.
The index will be used to seal loopholes that are used to overpay or underpay compensation for land.
While answering supplementary questions from other Senators, the CS said the Government was in the process of securing all public utilities.
“We have started the process of securing all public utilities. We have started with schools, colleges and universities,” said CS Njeru.
He also said that the Government was in the process of opening up new registries in areas that were not reached by the Ministry of Lands in the past including many of the counties in northern Kenya.
He also urged all Deputy County Commissioners to ensure that they involve all leaders when setting up Land Control Boards.
Cabinet Secretary for Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Salim Mvurya also appeared before the Senate.