‘Pineapple is a luxury,’ Ekuru Aukot wants gov’t to take over Del Monte land


'Pineapple is a luxury,' Ekuru Aukot wants gov't to take over Del Monte land
Thirdway Alliance Kenya Party leader Dr. Ekuru Aukot addressing the Del Monte issue on Wednesday, January 23, 2019. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • According to Aukot, some of the activities carried out on the land such as dyking and damming of water resources has left Murang'a residents without water.
  • The Third Way Alliance leader accused Del Monte of continuously concealing the actual size of the land, which he said is over 28,000 acres and not the 21,000 acres recorded by the firm.
  • Aukot further claimed there is no value for money to Kenya, claiming that the firm has leased the land at Ksh.12,000 per acre despite the land being at a prime location.

Thirdway Alliance Kenya Party leader Dr. Ekuru Aukot wants the government to take over the land held by Del Monte Kenya, once the lease expires within the next three years.

Dr. Aukot on Wednesday pointed out that Del Monte has occupied the expansive land for the last 49 years, adding that once the lease expires, President Kenyatta should facilitate the taking over of the land by the Murang’a County Government.

According to Dr. Aukot, some of the activities carried out on the land such as diking and damming of water resources have left Murang’a residents without water.

“This is nothing short of modern-day economic slavery through historical land injustices that needs to be addressed urgently,” said Aukot.

He added that growing of pineapples on such an expansive piece of land instead of essential crops such as maize is a luxury to millions of Kenyans.

“We call upon President Uhuru Kenyatta and in pursuit of his Big Four agenda and in particular food security, to encourage the taking over of all the land upon expiry of the lease, by the County of Murang’a who should then grow affordable food in order to feed millions of Kenyans as well as significantly solve the issue of landlessness in that part of Murang’a County.

“That land should benefit the people of Kenya more if we planted maize, beans as well as food stuffs that Kenyans can afford. Pineapple is a luxury for millions of Kenyans who need Unga more than pineapples,” said Aukot.

The Third Way Alliance leader accused Del Monte of continuously concealing the actual size of the land, which he said is over 28,000 acres and not the 21,000 acres recorded by the firm.

Aukot further claimed there is no value for money to Kenya, claiming that the firm has leased the land at Ksh.12,000 per acre despite the land being at a prime location.

“Del Monte has been leasing all that land for a paltry Ksh.12,000 an acre. This simply beats logic because our research shows that the adjacent land is sold at Ksh.4 million for an eighth of an acre,” said Aukot.

Murang’a County representatives group want the land sold to the highest bidder and the county government be involved in the lease renewal. Aukot is representing the group as a friend.

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Story By Gloria Magudha
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