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Officers from the inspectorate department descend on TARDA's 1,850 acre land in Emali to forcibly eject managers and workers on orders of Governor Joseph ole Lenku. Photo/Kurgat Marindany

Tarda kicked out of County land after 30-year lease expiry

By Kurgat Marindany.

Governor Joseph ole Lenku has ordered the ejection of Tana and Athi Development Authority from the 1, 850 acre county land in Emali, Kajiado County.
Lenku’s order of Tarda’s ejection was effected recently when the County Executive Committee member for Lands, Hamilton Parseina moved to the property with 50 askaris and secured it without much ado.
This happened after Lenku declined to renew Tarda’s lease of the land they had occupied for the last 30 years without paying a single penny to the former Olkejuado County Council and later the County Covernment.
Tarda on September 1, 1987 leased the land from the then Olkejuado County Council under “mysterious” circumstances which is now a subject of investigation.
Parseina told journalists the lease of the land expired on August 31 and that the County Government gave them notice to revert the land back.
“Tarda was requested to give vacant possession of the property within 21 days of the notice dated September 25. After failing to do so, we have decided to evoke the Governor’s order this evening,” said Parseina.
The team led by Parseina and his Agriculture counterpart, Moses ole Narok, descended on the offices of Tarda without much resistance from the 26 workers in the property.
The farm’s project manager, Sammy Mulinge, who was found in the office attempted to resist the takeover, claiming that he would not “just let Government property to go like that.”
After a brief altercation with Parseina, he was warned that the County Government had made its stand clear and the move was going to be unstoppable.
Parseina argued that Tarda leased the parcel of land for 30 years and it never paid a single penny for the use of the land.
After seeing the county askaris putting padlocks to all the houses, including the offices in the farm, Mulinge made a request to be allowed more time to dispose of the 88 grade cows and more than 2, 000 broilers in the farm.
The county workers would not listen to Mulinge as they argued that the 21-day they had given Tarda was enough and would not need more to pack up and go.
Parseina announced that the County Government had set aside Sh40 million to develop the property and others around the county for purposes of planting grass for pastoralists.
He said the Government will then harvest the hay for use during drought and save farmers from the agony of buying dry grass at exorbitant prices from outside the county.
During the Mashujaa Day celebrations, Governor Lenku said the ongoing drought in the county that has killed hundreds of livestock is the source of his nightmares from the day he was sworn into office.
“I am not sleeping because I am worried of what is going to happen next to my people after all their livestock have perished,” Lenku noted when he addressed the county residents during Mashujaa Day.

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