Economy

MPs order new survey in Del Monte land row

Del Monte shop
A Del Monte shop in Thika. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The raging land ownership dispute between multinational fruit juice processor, Del Monte Kenya and residents of Kiambu and Murang’a has taken a new turn after Parliament ordered resurveying of the entire acreages held by the company.

The National Assembly’s Lands Committee wants the ministry of Land to immediately conduct a fresh survey of all land held by Del Monte in Murang’a and Kiambu counties within 90 days.

“The committee recommends that the Director of Survey, ministry of Lands and Physical Planning does resurvey the land held by Del Monte in Murang’a and Kiambu counties within 90 days of tabling of this report,” the committee said in an inquiry report tabled in Parliament on Thursday.

Parliament also wants the National Land Commission (NLC) to commence investigations into the circumstances under which Del Monte is alleged to have acquired four parcels of land- LR Nos 10862, 10741, 11312 and 11146-measuring 7,400 acres.

The four parcels are said to have been surrendered to the Government by two companies trading as Sassa Coffee and Rappit B Limited. The committee chaired by Rachael Nyamai made the far-reaching recommendations following a petition filed by Philip Njuguna on behalf of Kandara Residents Association who asked Parliament to investigate WHAT what he termed irregular renewal of leases of land to Del Monte Kenya Limited.

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The residents are pushing for the processor to cede part of the land arguing that it owns 22,000 acres out of which 13,000 are under use by the company while the rest is lying fallow.