Residents push for competitive bids of Del Monte land
7 days ago, 15:01
Two Murang'a County residents are seeking a court order for competitive bidding of the land leased to fruit processing company Del Monte in Murang'a County when the lease term comes up for renewal.
Ephantus Githae and James Mwangi want the National Land Commission and the county government compelled to place bids to attract prospective local and international investors.
The bids, according to residents, are aimed at getting investors who will show how the county would benefit if they were to get the leasehold.
Through their lawyer Omondi Samuel Ogutu, the petitioners are seeking a urgent hearing and determination so that the rule of law is upheld in leasing the land to suitable interested parties.
“It’s our clients' desire and demand on behalf of the communities residing in the areas covered by the parcels under reference, that at the expiry of leases over the parcels, allocation of parcels be done in line with provisions of the Public Provisions Disposal Act no 3 of 2005 where bids are invited and persons interested come forth competitively to take part on the process of allocation,” the petition dated November 5 said.
They were apprehensive that the Murang’a County Government and the NLC will proceed to effect the extension of the leases to Del Monte in the absence of any public bidding which they said was contravention of the residents of Murang’a.
Thika Environment and Lands Court Lady Justice Lucy Gacheru, while certifying the matter as urgent, directed the matter to her colleague at Murang’a for further directions on November 21.
The petitioners filed their application at Thika since Grace Kemei of Murang’a Environment and Lands Court was not present.
Del Monte still faces other woes in an ongoing case by locals from Kandara Sub-County, under the Kandara Residents Association.
The locals are demanding from the company 6,000 acres of land, which they claim was grabbed from their forefathers by white colonial settlers.
An attempt at mediation between the parties involved, including the National Land Commission, flopped last week as Del Monte lawyers failed to show up.
Judge Kemei had ordered that the parties appear in court on November 12 to report the progress of the case.
The fruit company is also facing another law suit in Nairobi filed by the Murang’a County government.
In the case, the county is demanding that the company cedes 3,000 acres for an industrial city at Kabati.
Category: business markets news