Cement company gives squatters three months to buy Mavoko land
East African Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) is seeking to end a decades-long standoff with squatters
who have landed on its land in Mavoko, Machakos County, by offering to sell
them the land.
The sale might also provide the cement company with a solid foundation as it works
to clean up its tainted assets while still generating money.
The firm notified the people who have been squatting on three plots of land in
Mavoko on Thursday that they might apply to acquire the property through a
regularisation process that it is undertaking.
The squatters have been given three months to vacate the land, failure
to which the company would sell it to the general public.
“First and preferential priority shall be offered to the parties currently occupying
sections of the said parcels. Those in this kind of situation are advised to
apply for consideration of the same within 90 days from the date of this
notice,” the company said.
“All unclaimed sections shall be competitively offered on a willing buyer willing
seller basis after the expiration of this notice.”
Following a public stakeholder meeting last week, the firm stated that the people
occupying the land will be asked to pay Sh600,000 for a parcel measuring 80 by
40 feet in the regularisation process.
This is a significantly reduced price in an area where such a plot of property might
easily cost more than Sh2 million.
The land sought by EAPCC is approximately 700 acres in size. According to the firm,
a third of its land is held by squatters, and it is looking into ways to
“Around 30% of investment properties are currently occupied by squatters.” The
company is still looking for ways to repossess the occupied properties.”
The cost of evicting the squatters is projected to be Sh425.9 million.
Aside from the sale, the company recently surrendered two plots of land in the
neighborhood to one of its lenders after defaulting on a loan.
In its most recent shareholder report, EAPCC stated that it had surrendered some
of its land to KCB Bank after failing to meet loan repayments.
The Sh3.3 billion debt had increased to Sh6.6 billion after the default, and KCB
recalled the debt.
“The company transferred LR 8786 to KCB for debt settlement reasons, producing a
decrease of Sh4.85 billion,” EAPCC stated in its annual report for the
fiscal year ending June 2021.
“The company is nearing completion of the transfer of LR 8784/146 to KCB for the
settlement of the outstanding debt.”