Kenyan county renews Del Monte leasehold after land surrender

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Kenyan county renews Del Monte leasehold after land surrender

The leasehold of Del Monte Kenya's 8,000-acre parcel of land in the southern Kiambu county has been renewed for another 99 years after the company surrendered 635 acres, according to Standard Media.

The process to renew the leasehold has been a protracted one in the East African country, amid calls for the company to set aside land for public use.

The North American company holds over 22,000 acres in Murang’a and Kiambu counties, according to the article.

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu and Del Monte managing director Stergios Gkaliamoutsas signed a memorandum of understanding authenticating the lease last Friday.

Waititu assured the company his administration would continue to provide a conducive environment to encourage it to invest more in the county.

He asked his Murang’a counterpart, Mwangi wa Iria, to follow his example and renew Del Monte's leasehold for the land in its jurisdiction.

In 2016 the Murang’a County Assembly passed a motion compelling the National Land Commission (NLC) and the County Government not to renew a land lease for the company.

Waititu said legal battles over the matter would jeopardize the company.

“There is no need for court cases over the issue of leasehold. Murang’a County needs to borrow a leaf from us and seek alternative conflict resolution mechanisms,” he was quoted as saying.

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