– The land issue crops up after Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony banned multinational tea companies in the county from selling their land.
– The expansion of Gatitu Road is a Sh221 million project funded by the county government is meant to ease traffic congestion in the town.
– To cancel leases for companies that is employing 3.00 people, or for that reason cancelling other companies leases, whether for fruit, tea, or anything else is completely insane as how is any investor going to trust any deal made with the people or government of Kenya, when governors or other will just go in and take over what they have built and try to run it? No sane investor will ever do that.
Kiambu Governor William Kabogo is opposed to the renewal of Del Monte Company’s land lease.
He said the firm’s 20,000 acres of prime land are not beneficial to the people of Kiambu and that they should be subdivided into residential plots.
“Even if the lease is renewed, the company should get half of the land and the rest should go to Thika residents who will build houses. The rent that will be paid by tenants is almost equal to what the company pays,” Mr Kabogo said while officially launching the expansion of Gatitu Road in Thika into a dual carriage-way.
The Sh221 million project funded by the county government is meant to ease traffic congestion in the town.
The fruit processing company, which is a leading exporter of pineapple juice and other products, has a workforce of more than 3,000 employees.
Its 999 year land lease expires this year. Most of the firm’s land and assets are in the neighbouring Murang’a County and the governor’s remarks are likely to kick up a storm. Attempts to contact acting Lands Cabinet Secretary, Dr Fred Matiang’i, over the issue were futile as he failed to return our calls.
The land issue crops up after Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony banned multinational tea companies in the county from selling their land.
He said most of it had been acquired through leases and should be returned to the government.
Together with his Nandi counterpart Cleophas Lagat, they are working towards taking over management of tea estates once multinationals’ 99 year tenures expire. (How is this even possible asks this write, it makes no sense unless you want to enrich yourself on the behalf of the people. How do they expect to be able to go in and take over and run a company that have years of experience in it, and will the same happen to other investors property? As investor you would put down anything you invested, remove machinery, and buildings, etc. so there is nothing left, so they would have to start from the ground and up. But a typical political motive from politicians that have no strong politics and try and wind over some unknowing crowds they can control. (it has bee tried before in other countries and t does not work as we are not alone in this work but have to work together with other people and nations)).
The two want multinationals to transfer their expertise to locals under them so that they can work together with the county government.
Experts, however, note that terminating the leases would send wrong signals to foreign investors, instead, they should be renewed to attract more companies and create additional jobs.
Though county governments are fighting to take over land owned by multinationals, the Constitution gives the mandate of issuing land leases and title deeds to the national government and not the devolved units.