Security men block auction at Yala farm

View of expansive Dominion farms in Siaya county in a picture taken on October 14,2018. The farm that was initially owned by an American investor has since been taken over by investors under the name of Rai. [Photo: Denish Ochieng/ Standard]

Security guards armed with batons and whips thwarted auctioneers' attempts to attach assets belonging to the Dominion Group at the Yala Swamp.

The guards on Tuesday fought representatives of various auctioneering companies sent by creditors who had obtained court orders.

The suppliers, who had gone to the farms early in the morning with auctioneers, left in the evening after being stopped by the security guards.

Various suppliers are seeking payment for services rendered before the American-based company abandoned the farm last year.

The guards stood their ground even when the auctioneers sought the help of police officers.

Siaya Deputy County Commissioner Joseph Sawe said several suppliers had obtained court orders to auction equipment at the farms to recover money owed to them by former investor Calvin Burgess.

Mr Sawe, however, said the suppliers should make arrangements with police to enable them to execute their orders.

He directed the suppliers, who had camped at the scene since morning, to leave and return after consultations with the police.

One of the suppliers, Peter Ogutu, said he had supplied herrings, dry cassava, 600 bags of dry maize and 60 tonnes of lake shrimps and was owed more than Sh3 million by the former investor.

Separately, residents living around Yala Swamp on Tuesday held a meeting to chart the way forward over the management of the farm.

New investor

They said any new investor at the swamp must involve them in negotiations.

“We are afraid that the lease given to Dominion farms is not over and we would like to know from our leaders how the next investor will operate,” said Meshack Oniang'o, a resident of Kadenge sub-location.

“We do not want to be vulnerable, especially women who work tirelessly from morning to night without any rights... Our people were reduced to casual workers while people from other counties were working in the offices during Dominion's reign,” said Lucy Akinyi, another resident.

 

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