Those with pending compensation issues are not looking forward to the end of the terms of the current National Land Commission (NLC) officials as this means a longer wait for their money.

They have expressed fears that expiry of the terms mid this month is likely to delay the compensation process.

For residents of Elgeyo Marakwet County, who gave up their land for to Kenya Flourspar Company, the exit of the commissioners means compensation will take longer following a fresh row between the government and the residents.

The more than 500 families that were displaced from their 9,070 acres have issued fresh demands to the government after it allocated Sh1 billion as compensation for loss of their ancestral land.

“Prof Mohammed Swazuri-led team should fast-track our compensation before they leave office on February 17. This will allow another investor to resume mining of the mineral,” said Joseph Kandie, the chairman of the Kimwarer Sugutek (Fluorspar) community.

Whereas the government has started the process to release Sh1 billion as compensation, residents are demanding Sh9 billion.

A multi-agency team drawn from the Mining and Land ministries, Office of the Attorney-General and NLC toured the area last year to fast-track the compensation process.

“It is pointless for the government to search for an investor before paying us. We will not allow any exploration to take place before we receive the money,” said Mr Kandie.

The fluorspar company suspended mining and laid off workers four years ago owing to a slump in prices of the mineral in world market.

“A collapse in market conditions has led to a dramatic reduction in fluorspar prices and demand and thus the company operations have become unsustainable in the current market,” explained managing director Nico Spangenberg then.

Local leaders have petitioned the government to allocate alternative land to the displaced to save them from the high cost of buying land elsewhere.

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