Malindi lawyers lock Del Monte, Kakuzi out of land laws review suit

Economy

Malindi lawyers lock Del Monte, Kakuzi out of land laws review suit

A Del Monte shop in Thika. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Two multinational agricultural firms, Kakuzi and Del Monte Kenya, have been locked out of a petition challenging constitutionality of some sections of the land laws.

The sections, if implemented, will see the two multinational firms lose their huge tracts of land. Also locked out is the Kakuzi Division Development Association that wanted to join the case to oppose what Kakuzi PLC would have told a three-judge bench in Malindi.

The petition was filed by members of Malindi and Mombasa Law Society of Kenya groups in October 2016 seeking a declaration that sections 38, 47, 48 and 98 of the Land Laws (Amendment) Act 2016 are unconstitutional, null and void.

The lawyers moved to court a month after President Uhuru Kenyatta assented to the Land Laws (Amendment) Bill (2015) to amend the laws relating to land to align them with the constitution.

The law gave effect to Articles 68(c) (i) and 67 (2) (e) of the Constitution to provide for procedures on eviction from land, and for connected purposes.

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Article 68 (c) (i) provides that Parliament shall enact legislation to prescribe minimum and maximum land holding acreage in respect of private land.

On the other hand Article 67(2) (e) mandates the National Land Commission to initiate investigations or on a complaint, into present or historical land injustices and recommend appropriate redress.

The lawyers had filed two separate petitions but they were consolidated and proceeded to hearing by way of submissions.

They listed the Attorney General, the Speaker of the National Assembly and the National Land Commission as the respondents.

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