Kenya: Two Kilifi MPs Vow to Block Planned Sale of Giriama Ranch

Two MPs have vowed to block the auctioning of the controversial 66,000 Giriama Ranch in Kilifi saying about 3,000 people living on the land will be affected.

Kilifi North MP Owen Baya and his Ganze counterpart Teddy Mwambire Tuesday said they would ensure the ranch is not disposed off.

Mr Baya, who spoke at his Kilifi residence, said he will bring the matter to the attention of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations so that of people suspected to have defrauded residents of the land are investigate and prosecuted.

"The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions should also initiate investigations against the directors of River Oil Company for allegedly obtaining a provisional title deed for the ranch and later used it to obtain a loan which they have since failed to pay," he said.

INVESTIGATIONS

County Land Executive Dadu Karisa said together with other government agencies, they are still investigating the matter.

"The public is also in the course of seeking legal redress to stop the auction of the public land," he said.

The directors of Riva Oils Company Limited are said to have obtained a provisional title deed after claiming the original title got lost and took a loan from the African Development Bank which now wants to sell the land.

Mr Baya said the company has several fuel stations and challenged the bank to sell them instead of the land which has an original title deed.

"The lands commissioner who processed the title deed should also be prosecuted for issuing the document without verifying with the original directors," added Mr Baya.

COURT INJUNCTION

On his part, Mr Mwambire, who is the MP of the area, said they are currently working on a court injunction to halt the planned auction.

"The ranch was advertised for auction by Garam Investments Auctioneers in Monday's national dailies and (the auction) is supposed to take place at the offices of Five Eleven Auctioneers in Mombasa on August 6," he said.

Mr Mwambire said some cartels are planning to defraud the community of their land but vowed he will do all he can to stop them.

"We are working to get a court injunction alongside other legal procedures to make sure these people do not succeed," he added.

Reports indicate that according to a special AGM held on September 30, 2017 by the Giriama Ranching Company, Riva Oil Company Limited borrowed a loan of Sh250 million.

A company named Maktoum Holdings had expressed its intention to buy the ranch at Sh200,000 per acre.

The company had also agreed to repay the loan on behalf of Riva Oil but the deal did not materialise.

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