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Kang’ata calls for dialogue to end indifferences over Delmonte land

Governor Irungu Kang’ata (Centre) at a past event in Murang'a County

Murang’a Governor Irungu Kang’ata has cautioned some politicians against inciting local residents over land the county acquired two years ago from a fruit processing firm, Delmonte Company.

Kang’ata observed that some politicians are leading groups of residents to demand part of the 1, 400 acres of land which the company has ceded to the devolved administration.

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He noted despite some groups having agitated to get land from Delmonte, there is need for dialogue to end the indifferences and allow the county government to utilize the land for the benefit of residents.

Kandara resident’s association, for many years had engaged Delmonte Company in a legal suit seeking to get part of the firm’s land claiming their forefathers were pushed out of their land by colonizers.

During renewal of the land lease, Delmonte ceded 1, 400 acres of the land to Murang’a county government and other hundreds of acres to Kiambu government.

Kang’ata, speaking in a local TV show on Wednesday night, observed that his administration has already done a survey of the land and has a masterplan on how to utilize the land located at Kabati area along Thika-Kenol road.

“On the land, we are planning to put up a Level-5 hospital to assist the Kenneth Matiba eye and dental hospital in Kenol town which is hosted in a rental building.

“The county government spends more than Sh. 16.5 million annually to cater for rent of the building hosting the hospital,” explained Kang’ata.

He added that there is urgent need to relocate the hospital from a rental facility saying his administration is at the tendering process for construction of a new hospital on the ceded land.

The land is also expected to host an industrial park, affordable housing project, a public school among other projects.

Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria in the recent past has been meeting officials from the ministry of lands, county government, Kandara Resident Association and Delmonte in efforts to reach a truce about the land.

Meanwhile Kang’ata said his administration was working on a legislation that would compel Nairobi County to pay for water fetched from Murang’a.

He said 75pc of water consumed in Nairobi is channeled from Murang’a, thus a need to provide an incentive to facilitate planting of more trees in the Ndakaini and Aberdare catchment areas.

“The best way to approach the matter is through legislation to ensure water abstraction is paid for. We are not ready for activism as we look for incentives to support tree planting,” said the governor.

Reporting by KNA

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