House team to table report on Del Monte land

Monday, November 11th, 2019 05:15 | By
Parliament in session. Photo/PD/SAMUEL KARIUKI

MPs will soon issue a report on the land ownership dispute between Del-monte Kenya, two county governments and residents. 

National Assembly’s Lands Committee has resolved to write a report with or without the input of the government agencies probing the matter.

The committee, chaired by Rachael Nyamai (Kitui South), is currently sitting in Mombasa preparing a report, which is expected to give far-reaching recommendations on the ownership of the thousands of acres of land claimed by residents and two county governments.

Making the ruling after receiving a petition from Kiambu Town MP Jude Njomo last week, Nyamai accused the Cabinet Secretary of Lands and the  National Lands Commission of failing to act on its directive to resurvey Del Monte’s land.

The resurveying, she said, would establish how much of the land is owned by the public.

“We as a committee have heard enough of this Del Monte matter and what remains is for the members to retreat and write a report,” Nyamai ruled.

Presenting his memo to the committee last week, Njomo said: “ Del Monte in your presence indicated it has directed Director survey to survey the land. I have also established that the Murang’a County government has also asked the Director Survey to do the same. Can the Director be compelled by this committee to table the report on leased land and public land?” posed Njomo.

The MP also called on the committee to visit the disputed  land to get clear picture.

“By the nature and sensitivity of this land, can this committee arbitrate among Del Monte Kenya, Kandara Residents Association and Murang’a and Kiambu county governments on how the land should be shared?” he said.

Njomo said the document Del Monte is holding is an agreement, not a title deed.

“This agreement dated the third day of June 1965 between Del Monte cooperation (therein) of the one part and the government of Republic of Kenya (thereafter called the granter) of the other part and to mutual agreements done in 1972 and 1973 respectively between the same (parties) such agreement being thereafter referred to a jointly main agreement) it was agreed that at the option of the said Del Monte cooperation, the granter would grant or procure to be granted to Del Monte or its nominee a lease of a piece of land comprising up to 20,000 cares of arable agriculture land,” reads part of the agreement.

Surrendered to State

The agreement, according to Njomo restricts Del Monte to only use 20,000 acres and not 22,000 acres the company currently occupies.

“Del Monte has publicly admitted that it was using 6,000 ha out of 9,000 hacatares and that 7,500 acres have not been in use for over 50 years,” reads the petition.

He further explained that two companies under the name Sassa Coffee and Rappit B limited surrendered to the government land parcels number, LR No.10741, 11146, 10862, 2955 and 11312, through a memorandum of transfer executed by the registrar of titles, which saw 7,400 acres transferred to the government on January 5, 1973.

He said a search conducted on April 5, 2019, confirmed that the tittle is government surrender measuring 2,260 acres. LR no.11146 measuring 1211 acres still reads surrender as at April 10, 2019.

Njomo told the committee that going by the evidence adduced, all the land being used by Del Monte was irregularly acquired.

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