Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma threatens to repossess KBL land

KISUMU, KENYA: Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma has threatened to repossess parcel of land leased to the Kenya Breweries Limited in Kisumu.

The Governor said even though the land was leased during the previous dispensation, the county government was the current custodian of the property.

Speaking over the weekend at Tido Village after he was given a throne as the elder by Kasagam Community in Kisumu, Ranguma said it was unfortunate that the land remained idle even as investors lacked space for investment.

“The land was given for the purposes of brewing, but over a decade now there is no brewing going on there and the company has continued to hold on to the land,” said Ranguma.

Las year the Governor petitioned the National Land Commission to revoke the lease and hand over the land to the county government.

But with the commission yet to act, Ranguma said he will act to ensure that the public benefits from the land located off Kisumu-Busia Road.

Currently the land property has been used as a store by a number of companies, which include Brookside and Kenya Breweries Limited.

Even though the size of the land is yet to be disclosed, Ranguma maintained that the land was not put into optimum use to create job opportunities for the many jobless youths in the area.

“If KBL cannot revive its operations on the parcel and use it for brewing purposes, then we may give it to another company which can do similar business so that the land can serve the purpose for which it was leased for,” he said.

He said he has got a lot of requests by investors who want to invest in the lakeside city, but lack of land was the biggest hindrance.

“Kisumu was last year ranked the best city with the ease of doing business in Kenya, and position 40 across the globe. The ratings have seen a lot of investors come to the county, and we would be glad if the available opportunities are properly utilized,” said Ranguma.

The county has been battling with cases of land grabbing, with over 3, 000 acres of land belonging to te county government said to be in the wrong hands.

Most of the land was said to have been illegally allocated to private developers by the defunct local authorities, a situation which saw Governor Ranguma halt renewal of leases and transfer of any land belonging to the county government.

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