Lands Commision opposes MPs move to amend Lands Act
18 September 2015, 17:01
Mombasa - National Lands Commission chairman Mohammed Swazuri has opposed the lands amendment bill 2015, stating that it was dragging Kenya back to the colonial days and has a lot of anomalies.
Swazuri however says that some of the amendments proposed in the bill are necessary and the commission should be given time to undertake its mandate as stipulated in the constitution.
“We should be given time to play our role some of this law are being drafted by people who do not understand land issues in Kenya, Land matters should be left to the experts” said Swazuri.
He said the new proposals are trying to weaken the commission in undertaking its mandate and if the new bill is passed the current land reforms will not be achieved.
Speaking during the opening of a four day consultative forum to discuss the amendment bill, Swazuri denied claims that the commission was widely consulted on the new proposed bills.
The NLC commissioners have also accused the drafters of the bill of having been influenced to benefit some few individuals.
“This is the selfishness by few individuals to return the land sector reforms back to where it was before the new constitution where it was under the ministry ”, said Commissioner Tom Onyimbi.
They also said the 2015 land amendment bill was developed without the participation of the public and should not be looked into because it does address issues of the people.
The bill also met rejection from the council of governors chairman Peter Munya who accused the drafters of the bill of not involving all the level of government before presenting if for scrutiny.
“county governments are the custodians of the community land and you come here to say to us that all the stake holders were involved, clearly the land ministry has plans to take over functions of the NLC” said Munya.
He said the amendment were mischievous and did not intend to streamline the current land problems in the country.
He urged those with the pushing for the amendment should seek the amendment through the referendum and not seek make changes using the back door.
The stakeholders are set to begin the discussion of the bill on today (Thursday) among key issues that are set to be discussed is the maximum and minimum acreage of an individual van be allowed to own in Kenya.
The forum will also address issues surrounding trust land among the communities.
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