Foreign investors have been put on the spot over a scheme that is depriving the government of millions in revenue.
The Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) revealed that a number of international investors that have been allocated land by the Authority were holding on to the land under the guise of setting up factories but with plans to sell them off for a profit once prices rise.
EPZA board chairman Paul Gicheru stated that the authority would repossess land if firms go against the terms and conditions of being allocated.A factory in an EPZA zone in Kenya
"The management has learned of a scheme orchestrated by unscrupulous investors to sell the land. We are giving a two-month notice to investors who continue to cling onto land within the EPZA jurisdiction," he stated.
Under the Export Processing Zones Act, an investor can be allocated a maximum of two and a half acres as long as the factory is established within 24 months.
"We are sending a stern warning to investors who are not compliant with EPZA rules. Land grabbers disguising themselves as investors have been unsuccessfully eyeing the undeveloped pieces of land," he added.
For the year 2020, the sales from Kenya's export processing zones amounted to Ksh80 billion.
EPZA Research Manager Benjamin Chesang stated that the amount was lower compared to 2019.
"Our key market remains the U.S. due to the preferential access of Kenyan goods under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) program," Chesang stated during a trade forum on Kenya's textile and apparel sector in February 2021.
He noted that other markets for Kenyan goods were countries in the European Union that had also signed a trade agreement with Kenya.EPZ premises in Athi River, Machakos County.
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