In May 2018, the High Court awarded the money as compensation for the adverse effects caused by construction of the Lamu Port.
They questioned the legitimacy of the recorded names, alleging that some may be government officials masquerading to share the spoils. The aggrieved fishermen further claimed that the compensation process has faced a number of challenges, including verification of the names and how to share the money.
The task force set to handle compensation of the fishermen reportedly admitted that individuals who had no claim to the money were illegally added to the list.
Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) task force confirmed those suspected to have been included are Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) staff, security officials, and civil servants.
According to the committee, the said individuals were somewhat related to either the owners of fishing vessels that were affected by the construction of the port or the next of kin.
Mohamed Somo, the chairman of Lamu County Beach Management Unit Network, however, dismissed the allegations stating that the list was legitimate.
â€œNames of KPA, KRA, police officers, health staff as well as public servants are on the list of those who are going to compensated. It is not something to worry about since those that are on the list are next of kin and owners of the fishing boats of those who were also affected by construction activities at Kililana,” he stated.
Somo further assured the fishermen that the process of identifying, verifying and approval of the all those affected by the construction of the port had been executed in a transparent fashion, adding that they were at their final stage of confirming bank details of all beneficiaries.
The compensation process stalled despite the two parties settling the matter amicably.