High Court distances itself from Del Monte, Muranga County tussle over land renewal

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Del Monte Kenya Limited is a Kenyan food processing company that operates in the cultivation, production, and canning of pineapple products. | DEL MONTE

BY PRUDENCE WANZA – The high court has ruled that it has no jurisdiction to hear Delmonte company case where Murang’ a county had refused to renew the lease of a piece of land where the said company sits.

Justice Kanyi Kimondo, Chacha Mwita, and Wilfrida Okwany ruled high court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the petition.

“We accordingly order that the petition dated September 18, 2015, be and hereby struck out”, ruled the three-judge bench.

This is after the court found two things for a determination whether the court has to entertain the petition or whether the petitioner exhausted alternative remedies before lodging the petition.

The court found that the dominant issue in the petition is the right to renewal of leases over a parcel of land where the Thika based Delmonte company sits.

They further found that the issue is connected to the use and title to land and such dispute thus falls squarely within Environment and Land Court.

Muranga County government and attorney general opposed that the court had jurisdiction to hear and determine the petition and that Article 162 of the constitution and section 13 of the Environment and Land Court Act vest the jurisdiction to the ELC court.

However, in a ruling made on October 1, 2016 by the late Justice Joseph Onguto declined to transfer the matter to ELC Court.

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