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Kenya: Governor Paul Chepkwony now opposes move to sell flower farm

Alegal battle is looming in Kericho County over the sale of Lemotit flower farm by James Finlay Company to another private firm. According to Governor Paul Chepkwony, the management of James Finlay should have consulted his administration before the disposal of the business because of the land on which the flower farm stand is under a 99-year leasehold.

“Finlay’s unilaterally sold the land. Land under leasehold should only be sold under the concurrent of the county and national government,” he said.

Lemotit flower farm, which produces roses and other cut flowers predominantly for the European market was last week sold to Black Tulip Group.

Finlay’s Managing Director Simeon Hutchingson, in a letter dated September 8 confirmed that the company had agreed to sell the Lemotit farm business and assets to Black Tullip Group. 

But yesterday, Prof Chepkwony wrote to the National Land Commission (NLC) and held a meeting with its local officials over the sale. “We are going to challenge the sale. We are in the process of assembling a legal team to challenge Finlay’s decision to sell the Lemotit land without the concurrence of the county and national government,” said the governor who was accompanied by Lands executive Barnabas Ngeno and County Secretary Joel Bett in the meeting.

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