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Wednesday, 4 January 2012

January 2012: Mismanagement at Katelembo


Katelembo managers:
The Noose Tightens


The noose on the man­agement of Katelembo Farmers So­ci­ety appears to be tightening by the day.  Bogged by years of corruption, land grabbing and greed, fate has fi­nally caught up with the society that long outlived its usefulness with a recommendation that it be liquidated being jus­tified by inept lead­ership.
Katelembo farmers during an AGM

As fate would have it, the Municipal Council of Machakos has clamped down on any de­vel­opment on the farm, de­manding that the so­ci­ety produces a most likely non existent sub­di­vision plan which ought to have been approved by the council, owing to the fact that the society is situated in the municipality.

What is worse, the coun­cil is demanding millions of shillings in rates and other dues that the society has never paid the local authority.

These developments come as a climax of months of posturing by the management of the society against the gov­ernment, with the officials engaging the Machakos District Commissioner Kobia wa Kamau in indiscriminate mudslinging.

The Society’s operations have ground to a halt due to massive complaints and litigations arising from land fraud, poor record keeping, theft of crucial society official records and double sale of land in clearly suspect circumstances.

The best example of messed up man­agement is the fact that the Katelembo School of Excellence does not have a Title Deed for its land that the whole matter is subjected to endless ping-pong by officials including local MP Dr Victor Munyaka.

Trouble at the ranch begun when a member and prominent businessman Wilson Muema took up arms and defend hundreds of parcels of land he bought over time, with the management declining to recognise the purchases even when Mr Muema had all particulars. Matters have not been helped by a libel suit that Mr Muema has launched against the society Chairman over a report he publicly tabled at an AGM.

Trouble escalated when the CID seized vital documents at the society in a probe on probity among society officials.

Owing to this, the society has been unable to hold a meeting to discuss the state of business, the latest being a cancellation of a meeting as we went to press.

The latest incident is a stern warning by the government to people buying land at the controversial Katelembo society.

Mr Kamau said those who will buy land there before the disputes are resolved would be doing so at their own peril.

This means that virtually all development at Katelembo would stall unitll the matter is resolved. The municipality has send its constabulary to inspect the area to enforce the embargo on development.

“It is not safe to buy land at Katelembo now until the management submits land sub division plan to the local authority”,he cautioned. The DC complained that innocent de­vel­opers had been sold public utility land but said the government in con­junction with Machakos Municipal council has moved in to help resolve the matter.

“We are in the process of cleaning the mess caused by greedy management committee members to ensure members did not loose what is rightfully theirs”, said wa Kamau.

The DC who was accompanied by Town Clerk Ahmed Sheikh Abdulahi asked Kiima Kimwe residents who have grown sukuma wiki along sewer line to destroy them.

He said it is a real health risk to grow food on a sewerage adding “you are hurting those you are selling it to”.

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