Renewal of the land lease to Del Monte Kenya Limited has yet again renewed differences between Governor Ferdinand Waititu and some Kiambu leaders.
Led by Thika Town MP Patrick Wainaina, the leaders have opposed the move by the county government to lease the land for another 99 years accusing Waititu and Del Monte CEO Stergios Gkaliamoutsas of failing to conduct public participation.
The agreement which was signed by both parties on September 7, 2018, stated that the county government could renew the lease for another 99 years while the company, on the other hand, cedes 690 acres of non-arable land for expansion of Thika Town.
This was to allow for the construction of industrial parks, an airport among other but hitherto, none of them have been implemented.
In 2018, Wainaina petitioned the National Land Commission (NLC) so that the exact value of acreage given to county government is established.
“We are pushing Del Monte Kenya Limited to call a field day to ascertain the area they are not using. I personally wrote to the managing director of Del Monte Kenya Limited last year calling all the stakeholders so that we can survey and ascertain the land they are not using before any demarcation, lease and transfer is done to Kiambu County,” said Wainaina.
Del Monte CEO, however, rubbished the claims adding that the terms of agreement with the county government are in public domain.
“The allegations that Del Monte Kenya’s managing director, Stergios Gkaliamoutsas, used close influence with Kiambu’s Governor Ferdinand Waititu to speed up the land renewal process and ignored concerns raised by local leaders are categorically false."
“In all dealings, Mr Gkaliamoutsas and Del Monte Kenya operated in a legally compliant manner and in good faith, taking into consideration the stated concerns of all relevant stakeholders,'' he stated.