Mudavadi raises red flag over tea plantation leases

By: TIMOTHY KEMEI

Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi wants the national and county governments to develop a policy to guide how land under tea will be used when their leases to foreign multinationals expire.

Mr Mudavadi said there is a likelihood of conflicts because locals are likely to scramble for the land as leases for several tea estates are expected to expire soon.

“Such conflicts will affect the agricultural sector. That is why we need a policy on who would inherit the land currently under multi-national tea companies,” said Mr Mudavadi.

Some politicians are said to be eyeing the prime agricultural lands.

“We do not want to see a situation where wananchi invade and forcibly take over these lands. I call upon the President to urgently convene a meeting with governors to set a clear policy to save the agricultural sector and forestall potential conflict,” Mr Mudavadi said on Sunday, while on a tour of Kericho.

Kericho is the largest producer of green tea in Kenya.

Mr Mudavadi has called for an end to wrangling between the Lands ministry and the National Lands Commission, saying this has complicated the situation.

“It is not clear who, between the commission and the ministry, is responsible for renewing or cancelling the leases,” added Mr Mudavadi.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION