Resurvey tea multinationals so excess land reverts to county — MCA

National Land Commission wants tea counties to resurvey land held by multinationals

In Summary

• Chepchabas ward rep Wesley Kiprotich cited recommendations  by the National Land Commission requesting counties to resurvey multinationals' land..

• The process would determine the exact acreage held by the companies; any excess land would reverted to the county. He called for commission of experts.

Workers pick tea leaves in Bomet county.
BACKBREAKING WORK: Workers pick tea leaves in Bomet county.

A Bomet MCA has introduced a motion to resurvey land held by multinational tea companies in the county.

Wesley Kiprotich (Chepchaba) said recommendations by the National Land Commission requested county governments to re-survey the lands held by tea multinationals.

The process would determine the exact acreage held by the tea companies.

Any excess of what the companies initially leased would be reverted back to the county government.

Kiprotich asked the local county administration to swiftly  constitute a commission of experts to expedite the process.

He said affected communities had suffered after they were forcibly evicted by the colonial government.

“The decision by the NLC is a win for the Kipsigis community and since land management is a devolved function, the county government should move swiftly to resurvey, Kiprotich said.

The former deputy speaker said the current assembly should enter the history books as the one that ended to the suffering of communities.

“We cannot wait for another 99 years for the leases to expire for us to begin to act. That would be an injustice to the current and the future generations,” he said.

He warned the county to ensure the community land held in trust by the Tea Multinationals is not converted into free hold ownership.

Chepchabas ward representative Wesley Kiprotich
RESURVEY: Chepchabas ward representative Wesley Kiprotich

The motion was seconded by Kimulot MCA Eric Kirui , who said the surplus land that will be gained through the process will help generate more revenue for the county.

He urged multinational tea companies to cooperate.

Mogogosiek ward representative Ernest Kipkemoi said cited rising tension between multinational tea companies and the neighbouring communities due to the unresolved historical land injustices.

He said modern land survey techniques should be employed to ensure that exact acreage held by tea multinationals is determined. His sentiments were shared by the Leader of Majority Paul Kirui.

Other members who contributed to the motion included Nathan Kibet (Kapletundo), Rosaline Cheptoo (Rongena Manaret) and Stephen Changmorik (Longisa).

During the motion, the assembly resolved to establish a multi-sectoral committee.

The committee immediately recommended the formation of committee of  experts to carry out resurvey of all land held by multinational tea estates and identify residual lands for administration by the county government.

It will also be tasked with advising on the preparation of the requisite memoranda for execution by the county government and the multinational corporations  as recommended by the National Land Commission.

The new team will offer proposals on formation of an entity under the auspices of the county that will be charged with administering and managing the tea farms that will have been recovered and reverted to the Kipsigis people.

The County Government is expected to constitute a committee of experts to implement NLC resolutions within the next 30 days.

(Edited by V. Graham)

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