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Economy

A Del Monte products shop in Thika. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU 

The controversy surrounding Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu’s decision to renew the land lease for Del Monte seems to be far from over.

This is after Kiambu Woman Representative Gathoni wa Muchomba filed a complaint with the National Land Commission regarding the deal.

Ms wa Muchomba, in a letter dated September 24, demands an explanation on how the deal between the juice maker and the county government was arrived at and the actual acreage surrendered.

In the deal, the county government renewed Del Monte’s lease of 8,000 acres after the firm reportedly agreed to cede 635 acres.

Mr Waititu signed an MoU with Del Monte managing director Stergios Gklaliamoutas, allowing the firm to use the land for the next 99 years.

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During the signing of the agreement, Mr Waititu announced that 200 acres of the surrendered land would be reserved for an airstrip while 20 acres would be used as a cemetery.

But Ms wa Muchomba has expressed concern over what she said was conflicting information on the actual acreage surrendered.

This follows Thika Town MP Patrick Wainaina’s allegation that the total acreage surrendered was about 1,000 acres, claims the governor has denied.

Ms wa Muchomba and other county leaders have accused Mr Waititu of “acting unilaterally”.

“The great people of Kiambu need to be involved in decision making on land use which is beneficial to them.

“In this light, I request that any future steps regarding Del Monte land allocation, partitioning and development be done in full consultation with the people of Kiambu through public participation,” she said.

Ms wa Muchomba’s letter, which was copied to the governor and County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga, adds: “A clear report on what has been surrendered should be shared with the relevant office including that of the Woman County MP.”



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