Leaders, human rights abuse victims call for Del Monte land verdict
Leaders and victims of historical injustices and human rights abuses have called on the government to resolve the settlement of families displaced from land occupied by multinational company Del Monte Ltd.
The call was made as a leading human rights crusader and displaced villagers in the area when businessmen Philip Kamau popularly known as ‘PMG’ was buried at his rural home in Ithiru area of Kandara, Murang’a County.
Kamau who was the patron of Kandara Residents Association was championing the rights of 5,000 people, who are claiming a piece of land from the pineapple-growing firm, died of Covid-19 related complications last week, according to family members.
Kiambu county government official David Ngari aka Gakuyo said Kamau’s death should not be in vain and urged the State to ensure the people he was fighting for are settled.
“The government should speed up the settlement of victims of historical injustices and displacement which Kamau fought for relentlessly. His death should not be in vain,” said Gakuyo.
He added that the issue of more than 600 acres of land ceded by Del Monte to the Kiambu County during former Ferdinand Waititu’s tenure remained uncertain and the National Land Commission (NLC) should intervene and clear the air.
Speaking after the burial, the association secretary Geoffrey Kairu said the demise of the leader was a big blow but vowed the group would fight on and ensure members get their rights.
Other members of the association said Kamau’s death had dealt them a big blow and asked the government to expedite the settlement exercise.
“In honour of our hero, the government should ensure the victims of brutality and historical injustices from Kandara, Gachagi and Matharau villages get justices,” said a member John Kiarie.
Kamau unsuccessfully vied for the Kandara parliamentary seat had raised the issue of land occupied by Del Monte.