The Omuthiya Town Council has admitted that some policies were not followed in awarding compensation to people living in communal land in the proclaimed area of the town.
Notable among the concerns is the issue of providing two plots free of charge to people affected as part of the compensation process, which the residents claim has not been realized, considering that the compensation monetary value is below the value of the property.
Further, it was established that the council has not in all instances engaged in face-to-face consultations to provide a comprehensive overview of the National Land Compensation Policy to all the affected people as well as create awareness as part of an education programme to show how flexibility can be allowed depending on the uniqueness and merits of the cases at hand.
A council resolution states that the affected people were also making comparisons of the old compensation policy with the revised policy of 2008, especially on tariff structures.
In addition it found that what has been demanded by the complainants was residential erven for shelter because the compensation in monetary terms has not uplifted their living conditions, thus they claimed they were now homeless as a result of the proclamation of the town.
It was in this regard that it was recommended that “town council avail one serviced residential erf on a blanket subsidized price of 20 percent discounted from the upset sale price of all erven in all localities to the affected people as part of compensation.”
Further recommendations were that council should initiate the servicing of land as part of the capital projects and solicit funds from government as an enabling tool for the effective and comprehensive compensation process.
It is however unclear whether the residential plots currently being serviced in Omuthiya include those for the affected people.