Residents want fresh negotiations in Del Monte land

Sunday, July 12th, 2020 16:56 |

Kandara residents association has called for fresh negotiations on the land lease renewal for Del Monte fruit processing company.

The association’s chairman Phillip Kamau said they want a second round of dialogue between the National Lands Commission, Del Monte, Kiambu and Murang’a county governments.

Kamau said they have picked on Murang’a senator Irungu Kang’ata to be the arbitrator between them and other involved parties so as to get an amicable solution to this stalemate.

Addressing the press in Murang’a, the chairman said the first round of negotiations on this matter back in 2018/19 flopped because the county governments involved refused to participate.

He said they have been pushing to get part of the land under the company’s use which they claim was grabbed from their parents by the white settlers.

He said despite a series of court cases, they feel like they are being denied what is rightfully theirs and thus the need for fresh negotiations.

“We want Kang’ata to take lead in this debate and help us get what we have been pursuing for years” he said.

Kamau claimed that the parliamentary lands commission ordered for the resurveying of the land in which case the excess part of it would be given back to the community.

“The resurveying of the land has never been done and we don’t understand why it is taking too long” he said.

He also accused Thika town Mp Patrick Wainaina of trying to meddle with the process claiming he is pushing for his own interests.

Wainaina last week urged the president to aid the company in having the lease renewed saying it faces imminent closure should the government fail to extend its land lease.

The Mp said thousands of jobs are at risk and the country would also lose Sh10 billion revenue generated by the company.

He also opposed the proposal to have the company cede part of its land to both Kiambu and Murang’a counties.

Kamau however claimed that the Mp does not represent the interests of the people , adding that those who faced injustices from the company have been overlooked.

“We have people who were displaced and others maimed and nobody talks about them or cares about them” he remarked.

“There is a law which should be followed in this process and we would like it to be followed to the letter” he added.

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