Home NEWS County News Rival factions clash after MPs tour disputed Delmonte land

Rival factions clash after MPs tour disputed Delmonte land

The Parliamentary Lands Committee has waded into the land row pitting Del Monte Kenya Limited and residents of Kiambu and Murang’a counties.

The multinational fruit juice maker has been entangled in a protracted dispute over the firm’s land with the residents under Kandara Residents Association- a group that has been seeking allocation of part of the land.

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The association represents over 5,000 residents who are squatters and victims of historical injustices from the two counties. They have been claiming some 7,400 acres of the Company’s uncultivated land.

The committee chaired by North Mugirango MP Joash Nyamoko held a meeting with the residents at Makenji area in Kandara constituency on Thursday to listen to their plight as they seek to bring an end to the row.

The meeting was however halted for close to an hour after members of rival factions of the Association clashed. One faction is headed by the former group’s patron PMG Kamau’s son, Kibiru Kamau, and the other is by Geoffrey Kairu who was Kamau’s deputy.

The duel was quelled by the lawmakers who asserted that justice will be served to all.

The MPs noted that they will be pursuing the matter to ensure that residents are settled on the land as per the recommendation by the previous Lands committee that was chaired by Kitui South MP Rachael Nyamai and the National Land Commission (NLC).

NLC in a gazette notice dated March 1, 2019, said 70 percent of any excess land ceded by Del Monte should be given to members of the community and 30 percent to the county governments.

He noted that the firm has already ceded part of its land to Murang’a and Kiambu counties. The two regions received 1400 acres and 935 acres respectively.

Juja MP George Koimburi who is a member of the committee said that the committee won’t allow allocation of land to one party while denying the other their share.

Similar sentiments were made by MPs Chege Njuguna (Kandara), Edward Muriu (Gatanga), Gachoki Gitari (Kirinyaga Central) and John Kaguchia (Mukurweini)

They noted that Four land parcels-LR Nos 10862, 11146, 10741 and 11312-measuring 7,400 acres, have been at the center of the dispute.

The parcels are said to have been surrendered to the government after the dissolution of two companies that were trading as Sassa Coffee and Chui Estate Limited who were the alleged owners.

Residents led by John Kiarie pleaded with the committee to ensure that they get settled in the land which they said is ancestrally theirs.

Kiarie said that most of them are living in abject poverty as squatters in slums within Thika including Matharao, Umoja and Gachagi while others settled at Nguthuru in Kandara constituency.

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