Blow to Del Monte as court declines to extend lease for Murang’a land
Del Monte suffered a blow on Friday after a court ruled that it lacks jurisdiction to hear the suit against Murang’a County government.
The High Court in Nairobi further declining to extend their lease on the pineapple plantation farm.
This means Del Monte is back to the drawing board and has to pursue the matter at the Environment and Lands Court.
The pineapple processing company claims violation of various constitutional rights.
Del Monte moved to court in 2015 to sue Murang’a County for declining to extend their leases on the pineapple plantation farm.
According to the respondent, Del Monte should not have its leasehold renewed automatically.
The county government maintains the company should go through competitive bidding where local and international investors are brought on board.
However, Del Monte argues that it was the registered owner of the land and has invested heavily in it.
“If we were to lose the parcels of land, it would be forced to close its business to its detriment and to the detriment of many others who depend on it including its 7000 employees and their dependents,” the company lawyer Njoroge Rigeru said.
Del Monte holds 22,000 acres and the case determination will put an end to decades of long court battles between the people who were displaced from the land and the fruit processing company.