Wednesday 23 January 2019
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Call for open bidding on Del Monte land

Two Murang a residents have filed a petition to block the renewal of the Del Monte Company s land lease. Ephantus Githae and James Mwangi want the Environment and Land Court in Thika to compel the Murang a government to conduct open bidding for the land occupied by the company. The two said at the expiry of the company s lease, the allocation of the land should be done in line with the provisions of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2005. It says bids are invited to allow interested parties to competitively take part in the process. The petitioners, who filed the suit on November 5 at the High Court in Thika want it to be certified as urgent, saying it deserves immediate hearing. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display( div-gpt-ad-1502866324572-0 ); }); The petitioners lawyer, Samuel Ogutu, said the county government is intent on proceeding to approve approval the company s application for lease renewal. They said they are apprehensive the county government will extend the firm s lease without subjecting it to public bidding. It s only fair that the application be heard and determined urgently and the orders sought granted to uphold the rule of law and guarantee the applicant equal protection and benefit, the lawyer said. They told Justice Lucy Nyambura the land in question was leased to the company in 1973 for 49 years by then Murang a County Council and is due to expire in 2022. It is my clients contention based on the Constitution that the land as is currently used, occupied and managed by Del Monte Kenya Limited does not meet the constitutional stipulations to the detriment of residents, Ogutu said. He said the petitioners represents the interests of residents. Last month, a group of Kandara residents withdrew a suit in which they wanted the company s land lease renewal stopped until public participation is conducted. The Kandara Residents Association told the Environment and Land Court in Murang a they wanted an out-of-court settlement with the National Land Commission, the company and the county governments of Murang a and Kiambu.

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