• They urged the tea firms to operate without fear
Nandi lawmakers have warned Governor Stephen Sang against inciting residents to invade team farms belonging to multinational companies.
Senator Samson Cherargei and MPs Vincent Tuwei (Mosop) and Cornelly Serem (Aldai) said the ownership of the tea farms was out of the mandate of the county government.
They urged the tea firms to operate without fear, saying they were protected by the law. The legislators said the companies were legal owners of their farms because they had exchanged the land with the community.
Serem said the firms gave the community land elsewhere in compensation.
Last month, Sang led residents in uprooting tea from a farm belonging to one of the many multinational companies in Nandi.
Serem said the move was misguided. “You cannot use a map to repossess land when the other party had a 99-year lease issued to them by the government," Serem said.
He asked the governor to first establish the circumstances under which the land was converted into a tea farm.
The MP defended former minister Henry Kosgey over claims that he grabbed the land. He said Kosgey helped the community to get another plot elsewhere.
Cherargei said the county was engaging in diversionary tactics to escape from issues, including corruption investigations.
An ad hoc committee report on graft in the county is expected to be released this week.
The senator all lawmakers from the region had agreed to support and protect foreign investments in Nandi.
“Multi-national leases are purely national government functions and none of them is about to expire as they were renewed automatically by the promulgation of a new Constitution in 2010,” Serem said.
The leaders spoke separately in Nandi on Sunday. Serem spoke at All Saints ACK Church-Kaboi in his Aldai constituency while Cherargei and Tuwei spoke in Ndalat in Mosop constituency.
edited by peter obuya