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Senator Kembi Gitura allowed to join land dispute between Del Monte, Muranga County

Murang’a Senator Kembi Gitura PHOTO:COURTESY

Senator Kembi Gitura has been allowed to participate in a 1,500-acre land dispute settlement between Del Monte Limited and Murang’a County government.

Justice George Odunga ruled that the senator had proved sufficient interest in the dispute to be allowed to join as an interested party, given that he is an elected leader who represents the public interest in his county.

“It is a matter of evidence that the senator is affected by the petition revolving around leasing of the disputed 1,500-acre land. No prejudice will be suffered by any party and we allow his application to participate in the case as an interested party,” ruled Odunga.

The judge further directed that the file be taken back to Chief Justice David Maraga to constitute a fresh bench of three judges to determine the dispute which puts the existence of the multi-national fruit juice maker at risk.

The case was being heard by Justices Isaac Lenaola, Joseph Onguto and Odunga.

Judge Lenaola was elevated to the Supreme Court, leaving a vacuum.

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The dispute revolves around renewal of land leases granted to several multi-national companies and which had expired.

The court had certified the matter has raising weighty constitutional questions that can only be determined by a bench of three judges.

Del Monte sued both the Kiambu and Murang’a county governments arguing that the two counties declined to extend its leases, threatening its multi-billion shilling investment and putting thousands of jobs at risk.

The company’s principal business is pineapple farming and it owns a large parcel of land, which extends between Murang’a and Kiambu.

The company said has been paying over Sh528 million in taxes. 

 

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