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Wamatangi pushing for EPZ on Del Monte land

Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi wants the government to set up an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) on part of the land that fruit processor Del Monte Company Ltd. ceded to the County.

Wamatangi said while there have been tussles over the proposed EPZ site along Kenol Road in Murang’a County, Kiambu County has 100 acres of idle land ceded by the processor that is ideal for an EPZ.

“Unlike other counties, we don’t have any dispute with Del Monte Ltd. over land. We have all the documents from the National Lands Commission (NLC). Given the population of Thika of about half a million and their proximity to the said land, Thika is the one that deserves an EPZ,” said Wamatangi.

The government’s plan is to establish an EPZ on ceded Del Monte land along Kenol Road in Murang’a County.

However, the land has been embroiled in disputes between the company, the Murang’a County government, and the Kandara Residents Association, a group of locals who have been seeking an allocation of part of the land.

Recommendations by the National Land Commission (NLC) and the Parliamentary Lands Committee in a Gazette notice dated March 1, 2019, gave the residents 70 per cent of any excess land ceded by Del Monte and 30 per cent to the respective counties of Kiambu and Murang’a.

The Association has been seeking some 7,400 acres of land. Murang’a and Kiambu counties have since received 1,400 acres and 635 acres from Del Monte, respectively.

 “Since we don’t have any disputes with Del Monte over any land, the EPZ should be established in Thika,” said Wamatangi.

President William Ruto said during his visit to Thika yesterday that the government will set up EPZs in Murang’a, Naivasha, Dongo Kundu, Sagana, Njoro, Dorel, and Busia.

He said the zones will provide jobs in processing, export, textile, manufacturing, and leather and will help the country grow its exports and create more jobs.

He added that more EPZs will be set up in several parts of the country, including Thika, in the coming years.

By Muoki Charles

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