2,900 acres of Del Monte declared public land.

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Parliament has directed that multinational fruit juice processor, Del Monte Kenya surrenders more than 2,900 acres of land back to the government.

The National Assembly’s Committee on Implementation of House Resolutions said the lease for L.R No 12158 that resulted from the amalgamation of several parcels should be reverted back to the government and declared as public land.

The committee wants the land to be reverted to the government within 60 days of the adoption of its report.

The committee has further recommended that the surrendered land should be allocated to Kandara Residents Association for their settlement.

“The Ministry of Lands in consultation with the National Land Commission should allocate the land excised from Del Monte Kenya Limited to Kandara Residents Association and County Governments of Muranga and Kiambu in the ratio of 70:30, as per the National Land Commission’s gazette notice 1995 of 2015,” the committee said in a report.

The team probed the implementation of recommendations of the Lands committee which questioned how Del Monte Kenya acquired more than 2,900 acres of land that had been surrendered to the government in 1973.

The huge tract of land was said to have been surrendered by two companies, Sassa Coffee and Rappit B. Limited but was later irregularly acquired by Del Monte Kenya Limited.

The two companies had in 1973 surrendered LR No 12158 measuring 2,900 acres in Muranga County that is registered in the name of Del Monte Kenya.

The land was an amalgamation of L.R Nos. 10862, 11312, 2953, 4873 and 11146.

“There were no sufficient records on how the transfer of the land to Del Monte Kenya Limited in 1973 was carried out.

“The committee, therefore, notes that this land ought to be public land,” Moitalel Ole Kenta, who chairs the committee said in a report tabled in Parliament last evening.

The Lands Committee had in November 2019 received a petition on irregular renewal of leases of land by Del Monte from Kandara Residents Association.

The committee probed the matter and recommended that the NLC investigate the circumstances under which L.R Nos. 10862, 11312, 2953, 4873 and 11146 that were said to have been surrendered to the government by two companies, Sassa Coffee and Rappit B. Limited were later irregularly acquired by Del Monte Kenya Limited.

Lands Cabinet Secretary Faridah Karoney and the NLC chairperson Gershom Otachi told the Implementation committee that due to the passage of time, it had not been able to unearth how Del Monte acquired the land.

Mr Otachi told the committee the parcels of land were originally owned by Chui Estates Limited up to 1973 when through a memorandum of registration transfer of lands and at a consideration of Sh2 million, they were transferred to the government of Kenya. The transfer was executed in 1973.

“The commission, however, taking note of the passage of time and parties involved in the transaction (unidentified directors of Chui Estate limited and one James Aloisias O’loughlif as commissioner of lands) could not unearth further details that necessitated the transfer nor amalgamation of the said parcels of land,” Mr Otachi told the committee.

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