I have with me a crucial expose press release about this Delmonte scandal. The atrocities by this colonial era company and obvious impunity has me really incensed as a Muranga millennial
Kindly publish this information. More to follow tomorrow. Please hide my identity.
Don’t want to be at risk.
Let us draw your attention to historical land injustices that have bedevilled our country since independence. We believe in the rule of law and justice for the people of Kenya, we have the following to state in the particular case of Del Monte Kenya. From the outset, arbitrary renewal of long-term land leases is nothing but a continuation of historical land injustices that has denied the people of Kenya the right to benefit from their land. Instead, just like other natural resources, our land has benefited both local and international cartels only; never the people of Kenya. Specific to the Del Monte land lease, we state as follows:
1. Del Monte has been concealing the Net worth of the land. The Del Monte property spanning from Blue Post Hotel to Kenol in Murang’a County is estimated to be worth, at least, KES 900 Billion and has been in the hands of Del Monte for the last 49 years. We are aware that all the leases are expiring between 2019 and 2022. Together with Kakuzi, they occupy, at least, half of Murang’a county and has been a disenfranchisement to Murang’a residents since the local people were unlawfully and illegally evicted by the colonialist’s decades ago. This is against our Constitution as well as the National Land Commission Act both of which were enacted to end historical land injustices in Kenya.
2. Del Monte and local cartels lied about the correct acreage. Geospatial surveys indicate that the property on Murang’a side could be more expansive than the recorded 21,000 acres. Our research confirms that a more accurate acreage is over 28,000 acres, which can be confirmed in a new survey to be conducted by the National Land Commission and Murang’a County once the lease has expired.
3. No value for money. Del Monte has been leasing all that land for a paltry KES 12,000 an acre. This simply beats logic because our research shows that the adjacent land is sold at KES 4 million for an eighth of an acre. Not only have the people of Murang’a lost in real revenue, but so has the government of Kenya in actual taxes.
4. Del Monte’s arrogance and refusal to cooperate. Del Monte’s lack of cooperation with the County Government has brought unbearable consequences to the Murang’a and especially Ithanga residents who have to traverse extremely tedious journeys to Thika town for administrative and economic activities due to lack of openings within the property. Surprisingly even the government of Kenya cannot build roads across the land.
5. Contravention of the Constitution and enabling law. The renewal of leases is governed by section 12 of the Land Act. The Leases cannot be automatically renewed if the owner is a foreign entity or if the National /County Governments have shown interest in the land. Our law is clear that if there is public interest, the land cannot be renewed; and public participation on whether the lease should be renewed or not is a constitutional pre-requisite. Supremacy of the people of Kenya, supersedes the interests of Del Monte.
6. Offends Article 43 of our Constitution on the right to safe and adequate water. Dyking and damming of water resources within the property has left many residents without access to drinking water as well as water to develop their lands. This is nothing short of modern-day economic slavery through historical land injustices that needs to be addressed urgently.
7. Fraudulent selling of land. Del Monte has abused the goodwill of Murang’a County, and the lease by charging and selling properties at commercial rates after securing their leases for paltry amounts. This needs to be addressed in a constitutional dialogue with Murang’a residents through *Public Participation*. Some of the properties sold by Del Monte include: Kimatus Estate, Ndoge Farm, several Quarries and Ananas Mall Along Garissa Road. There has also been grabbing of Cattle Track Land estimated at 1,000 Acres as well as the Public Land next to Kihiu Mwiri.
8. Suing of the Murang’a Governor by Del Monte simply for requesting Public Participation is an act of impunity by this international company and against international protocols on fair trade. There must be a way Del Monte and the people of Murang’a must drink from the same fountain. It seems to us that Del Monte is bragging of some political protection from the usual local cartels who we shall smoke sooner.
9. In addition, the President did set a precedent to cure such injustices through the Executive Order No. 2 of 2018, which ordered all procurement and disposal of assets as spelt out in the Public Procurement & Disposal Act of 2015 that should be advertised online where all and sundry are able to bid so that the people extract the best value from public assets. Let everyone with an interest in working in partnership with Murang’a people put up a bid because at the end of the day, the land that Del Monte benefits from belongs to the people of Muranga by right.
10.We also call upon President Uhuru Kenyatta and in pursuit of his big 4 agenda, and in particular food security, to encourage the taking over of all that land upon expiry of the lease, by the county of Murang’a who should then grow affordable food in order to feed millions of Kenya as well as significantly solve the issue of landlessness in that part of Murang’a County That land should benefit the people of Kenya more if we planted maize, beans as well as other food stuffs that Kenyans can afford. Pineapples is a luxury for millions of Kenyans who need unga more than pineapples.
11.Furthermore, Del Monte continuous to grossly violate human rights and has repeatedly been cited for that wanton violation of human rights of its workers. In the 2002 report by the Kenya Human Rights Commission on foreign multi-nationals that continue to violate human rights in Kenya, Del Monte came top on the list. It is also in this regard that we find it of paramount importance for Murang’a people to be part of the decisionmaking process that will determine whether Del Monte continuous to enjoy use of the land in question since they have proven over time not to be well meaning tenants. It is time for Del Monte, and any other abusive international cooperation to pack and leave Kenya.
12.As Kenneth Stanley Njindo Matiba, one of the most respected sons of Murang’a County always said:
*LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE*.
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