Raging dispute: Del Monte wants plots surveyed to end row

Del Monte Kenya Limited Managing Director Stergiuos Gkaliamoutsas. [File, Standard]

Del Monte Kenya Limited has no objection on the planned resurveying of parcels of land under pineapple farming, its management says.

The company has written to the Director of Survey seeking to speed up the exercise to comply with recommendations of the National Lands Commission (NLC).

Managing Director Stergiuos Gkaliamoutsas said the company has utilised 9,143 hectares of land to grow pineapples for the local and export market. The firm has also leased land from individuals estimated at 1,579 hectares, including 730 hectares from Kakuzi Limited.

“The firm sits on parcels of land whose ownership it can prove. The company supports the resurveying of the nine parcels, which we have title deeds to claim ownership,” said the MD. 

NLC recommended the exercise be a joint venture with Survey Department, county governments of Murang’a and Kiambu, to establish if there is variance between land leased and land the company occupies.

The directive read: “Any residue should give/surrender to the claimants for resettlement and the county government for public purpose in the ratio of 70:30 respectively.”

Gkaliamoutsas was speaking in reference to spirited campaigns by the Kandara Residents Association seeking resettlement of their members on the disputed 6,500 acres of land.

They claim their fore fathers were forcefully evicted from a section of land the firm occupies.

Two weeks ago, Delmonte appeared before the parliamentary committee on land following a petition by members of the association.