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Delmonte gives nod for resurveying of its land

National Lands Commission (NLC) has been given a go ahead to resurvey blocks of land owned by Delmonte Company limited.
The Company’s Managing Director Mr. Stergiuos Gkaliamoutsas confirms the company has not objected the move by NLC to establish the size of land owned by Delmonte.
The Director noted that the company uses 9, 143 hectares of land in growing pineapples among other fruits disputing claims that they have idle land.
Addressing members of press on Thursday, Gkaliamoutsas said that through resurveying, the government will establish the truth about the piece of land owned by the company.
“All our land is being utilized and we don’t have any idle land. Some blocks are wetlands and dams which are helping us to get water for irrigation,” noted Gkaliamoutsas.
Early 2019, NLC ordered for resurvey of the land by the Director of Survey in conjunction with County Governments of Murang’a and Kiambu, to establish if there is any variance between land leased and land the company occupies.
The director said the company has written to Director of Survey seeking to fast track process of the resurvey to comply with recommendations of National Lands Commission (NLC).
After the expiry of lease with the Kiambu County, the company shelved 622 acres at the marginal side of Delmonte’s land which was under-utilized.
With the current records, Delmonte company owns more than 22, 000 acres of land where three-quarters of the land lies in Murang’a county and the rest in Kiambu county.
In the recent past, residents in Kandara Sub County have been demanding that the company surrenders 6, 000 acres of land claiming their forefathers were evicted by colonialists to create land for the company.
Kandara residents association has filed a petition in court demanding the company to give part of its land before the lease which is soon expiring is renewed.
Gkaliamoutsas disputed claims that the company was ready to give the piece of land that borders Thika-Kenol highway saying the piece of land is very crucial to the company as it host irrigation structures that support growing of pineapples.
“The company cannot surrender the main piece of land which supports its farming. By doing so is finishing operations of Delmonte which has invested immensely in the country,” added the Director.
He urged the Kandara residents to channel their grievances through NLC and the county government of Murang’a instead of going to court.
Within its land, the company hosts public utilities including roads, primary schools, dispensary and a police station.
The Director said through its social responsibility, the company often maintains public roads and supports public schools with education materials.
By Bernard Munyao

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