Kenya: Del Monte allegedly subjects local staff to poor working & living conditions; includes company's comments

Author: Abiud Ochieng, Daily Nation (Kenya), Published on: 29 September 2015

"Kiambu, Murang’a counties say Del Monte farm not benefiting locals"

Kiambu and Murang’a counties which are embroiled in a land lease row with Del Monte Kenya Ltd have claimed the company is not beneficial to the local community. Murang’a County...and Kiambu County...on September 28, 2015 told Mr Justice Joseph Onguto that Del Monte’s corporate social responsibility claim is inaccurate because facts on the ground point to a serious negative impact. Lawyer Mereka said that there are poor working and living conditions of the workers, intimidation of trade unions, no locals are employed in senior positions in addition to large wage and remuneration difference between local and expatriate workers...He said Murang’a people continue to wallow in poverty over 50 years after independence due to lack of land and benefit sharing of the natural resources in the county which are being exploited by multinational companies whose only purpose is the element of profit and nothing else.

Del Monte, through lawyer Njoroge Regeru, said that the law provides on how land should be taken for public use adding that there is a deliberate attempt especially by some politicians in the two counties to discriminate against multinationals which they have found to be an easy target.

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Related companies: Del Monte Kenya (part of Fresh Del Monte Produce)