Residents of Giriama Ranch threaten to terminate contract with investor

A section of the Giriama Ranch water pan in Goshi village during a dry season. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Kilifi, KENYA: Residents of Giriama ranch in Bamba, Ganze Sub County have threatened to terminate an investment contract between them and a livestock farmer in the area.

Led by Safari Karisa Lewa, the residents claim the investor known as Aden Gedi is trying to divert the payments agreed in the contract to the ranch’s management.

They added that the payment could even be reduced from the initial stipulated payment of sh. 60,000 in the existing contract to a lower figure.

“We are aware of what is going on between Gedi and the management here which includes former Ganze Member of Parliament Joseph Kingi,” Lewa said.

“They want to be receiving the money from the investor and that is a breach of the  contract  signed back in September. What we are doing now is prevent  that from happening and the moment we succeed we will deal with the management amicably, “he added.

Lewa claimed they have information that the management also rented a piece of the ranch to an investor for 17 years without consulting the residents.

The residents who are accusing Gedi of scaring off other potential investors from the ranch said they would not allow that to happen.

“This man (Gedi) really  is a problem to us. He is even attempting to chase away other investors from this area so as to have all the land by himself. We will never receive any money from him and come  March next year,he will be the first person to leave this area,” Lewa added.

However, Gedi rubbished the claims saying it’s the residents who breached the contract  by leasing out  the ranch to other investors.

“It’s a total lie. I have not chased away investors from here neither have I attempted to hold behind the scene talks with the management. All I know is that the committee here is handling the issue,” Gedi said.

The residents and the management have been engaged in a row over the ranch over the past few months amid accusations that a local politician had attempted to sell the ranch for sh 13 billion.