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Kandara residents stopped from invading Del Monte land

A Delmonte shop in Thika
A Delmonte shop in Thika. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A judge has issued orders prohibiting Kandara residents from invading land occupied by Del Monte pending the determination of a case filed by the fruit processing company.

High Court judge James Makau, however, declined to stop a contentious determination made by the National Land Commission (NLC) on the occupation of the land, which straddles Kiambu and Murang’a counties.

The company had moved to court early this year, challenging the determination of the NLC directing the resurveying of the land. The job was to be undertaken by the Director of Survey in conjunction with the county governments of Kiambu and Murang’a, to establish whether there is any variance between the parcel leased and the one occupied by Del Monte.

The commission had said any surplus should be surrendered to Kandara Residents Association and the county government in the ration of 70:30, in the February 7, 2019 decision.

“In case there’s no residue, then on expiry of the lease, a suitable amount should be set aside and held in trust by the county governments for the purposes of resettlement and public utilities. The respondent shall additionally surrender all public utilities within the land to the national or relevant county government agencies, whether the lease has expired or not,” the gazette notice stated.

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But Del Monte, which was forced to amend the petition after the residents staged a demonstration a few weeks ago on the Nairobi-Nyeri highway, argued through lawyer Njoroge Regeru that it was not involved in the NLC sittings.

The Kandara residents claim that the land is public and that Del Monte has no proprietary rights despite occupying it.

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