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Court throws out petition seeking to stop re-surveying of Del Monte land

A case filed by Gatuanyaga Residents Association seeking to stop re-surveying of land held and used by Del Monte Kenya Ltd in Kiambu county has been thrown out by a Thika Court on account that the group lacked grounds to institute the case hence the court had no powers to hear the matter.

Justice Lucy Gacheru said according to the Section 41 of the Societies Act, it was not in doubt that the law required a society to sue through its representative which the lobby group had failed to do.

The lobby group had moved to court disputing a gazette notice issued by the National Land Commission (NLC) in March 2019 directing for a survey in order to address claims of historical land injustices. The resurvey was to be undertaken by the director of survey and the county governments of Murang'a and Kiambu to establish if there is any variance between land leased and that the company occupies.

However, the lobby group claimed there was a scheme to shortchange residents of Kiambu and Murang’a. While urging court to strike out the case, Del Monte had also told court that the case was time barred under section 7 of the Limitations of Actions Act.

Section 41 (2) of the Societies Act says “whereby a Society is charged with an offence under this Act or any rules made thereunder, the Society may appear by a representative, who may enter a plea on behalf of the Society and conduct the Society’s defence on its behalf.”

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