Busia Residents Cry Foul Over Lease of Nasewa Land

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Residents of Busia County are now up in arms to demand answers as to what led to the irregular lease of the 843 acres of Nasewa Land to a private investor by Government.

Led by the Western Development Initiative Association (WEDIA) chair Joseph Barasa, the residents accused the Busia County Government for colluding with both the ministries of the National Treasury and Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperative to lease the land to Busia Sugar Industries without following due process.

Barasa said that Nasewa land belonged to the Public hence need to consult them through Public participation before any deal is entered.

“A few people can not just sit in a boardroom and strike a deal to lease land that does not belong to them. Nasewa land is not fish in the market”, Barasa said.

He said that he was not against BSI acquiring the land so long as the rule of law is adhered to and due process followed.

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These reactions comes after the residents came across a letter dated 6th May 2020 and written by activist Okiya Omutatah to the National Treasury CS ukur Yatani and his Agriculture counterpart Peter Munya objecting the move to lease the land which he termed as fraudulent.

In the letter Omutatah threatened to move to court if the government went ahead to lease the land saying that the only way the Nasewa Land can be leased to any person or company was through Public participation a process that should be initiated by Government.

The government of Kenya through the Ministry of Finance acquired the land in the early 1990s through compulsory acquisition where hundreds of families were moved from the land to pave way to the construction of a sugar factory which never took place.

A few years later the Land was sold by Mumias sugar Company to Kaplony Ltd over a debt owed to it by the defunct Busia Sugar Company.

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It had to take the intervention of the Western Development Initiative Association (WEDIA) and Kenya for Justice & Development (KEJUDE) to force Dr. Evans Kidero who was the then MD for MSC to surrender the land.

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