COTU challenges the government on taking over EAPCC land

COTU Sec Gen Francis Atwoli
COTU boss Francis Atwoli. PHOTO/COURTESY:

By Edna Mwende

The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) has gone to court challenging the government’s decision to compulsorily acquire 4,256 acres of land for free from troubled East African Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) wanting to construct affordable homes.

According to a news article by the Business Daily, however, the manufacturer of Blue Triangle brand of cement is expected to cede 4,256 acres to the government for free after failing to put it to agricultural use in line with allocation terms signed in 1960.

The Business Daily report details that the Cotu lawyer Donald Kipkorir said that in a letter dated July 11, 2019, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning wrote to the EAPCC chairman and board of directors expressing interest to acquire the land.

Another letter followed about a month later, reminding the EAPCC acting Managing Director to surrender the land so that the Ministry of Lands would expedite the transfer of the title to the government.

Mr. Kipkorir said that in conjunction with Qatari investors, the government is planning to construct houses on the parcel without consulting the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), EAPCC’s biggest shareholder and investor.

“That as the Secretary- General of Cotu, in consultation with EAPCC and NSSF do confirm that we have not held discussions or passed or given any approvals of intention to dispose of the only EAPCC asset at the moment and the actions of the respondents to compulsorily acquire all the property L.R. 10425 measuring 4,272 acres is a fundamental violation of property, economic and labour relations rights under the constitution,” said Cotu Secretary-General Francis Atwoli as quoted by the Business Daily.

The judge asked the parties to file their replies and submissions ahead of the hearing on December 9.

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