Lobby wants Lands Cabinet Secretary Karoney dismissed

Monday, September 7th, 2020 00:00 |
Pineapples in a farm. Photo/COURTESY

A lobby group has filed a petition seeking the removal of Lands Cabinet Secretary Faridah Karoney, Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri, Chairman of the National Land Commission (NLC) Gershom Otachi and the entire commission from office.

Kandara Residents Association last Friday petitioned the National Assembly accusing the officials of denying them their right to own part of the disputed land currently held by Del Monte Limited.

Speaking on behalf of the group, association chairman Philip Kamau claimed the officials did not heed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive  to involve them while renewing the lease. 

“Renewal of the lease without the participation of the residents as directed by the President and the Lands Committee of the National Assembly is a violation of the law,” argued Kamau.

He continued to say: “Karoney, Muraguri and NLC have been acting in total disregard of the presidential directive, court and Parliament rulings.” 

Kamau further claims the commission has through deliberate omissions, refused to implement the law as stipulated in the Constitution by allowing the ministry to resurvey land held by the Del Monte Limited. 

It has also been claimed that the ministry and NLC have continued to hold conversations with Del Monte and Kiambu and Murang’a county governments over the lease but denied the lobby the right.

“Kandara Residents Association have been denied most critical rights under the rules of Natural Justice and article 47, which provides that every person has the right to administrative action that is expeditious, efficient, lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair,” the petition.

Law states that a commission may be removed from office for violating the Constitution or failing to implement its provisions.

NLC, according to the lobby, allowed the ministry to do the resurvey of the Del Monte land without their direction.

Proper investigations

“Commission has continued to consider the renewal of lease even when they have been forewarned by the Association that Del Monte Limited has never been issued lease document for the last 50 years,” Kamua says in the petition.

He adds, “There is therefore no land to be renewed. The commission has continued to renew the lease even when they have been informed of the following LR numbers illegally combined: LR 10862. 10863. 10741. 11146 11312. 2953, 13169, 7032/2, 9213/1, 3560, 10733, 10,735 and 7,500 acres of unused land whose status are yet to be determined confirming or denying our allegations.”

Lobby further argues that the commission has been deliberating on the renewal of lease and extend leases that do not exist without proper investigations and a clearance certificate and documents from the Directorate of Survey.

Documents include,  Allotment Letters, payment of stamp duty, conveyance fee, payment of fees and charges, production of certificate of lease certified and stamped by the Registrar of titles.

Lobby has also argued that the commission has opened deliberations and assent to the renewal of lease to Del Monte even when the NLC chairman confirmed to Parliament on May 6, that they are yet to receive any application of lease from the fruits’ processor, Kiambu and Murang’a counties.

The Commission, the petition reads, has ignored the residents and the Gazzette Notice of 14 March, 2019, which stated among other provisions, that no land shall be renewed until enough parcel is set aside specifically for Kandara Residents Association.

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