Government accelerates enactment of land acquisition law
14 September 2016, 13:35
Nairobi - Kenya is fast tracking the enactment of a compulsory
land acquisition law in order to control costs at which government
acquires land for public projects, a senior official said on Tuesday.
Cabinet Secretary for Lands Jacob Kaimenyi told a business forum in
Nairobi that a number of national projects are slowing down due to high
cost of land.
"The current law does not empower government to acquire land at fair
prices and this is affecting the pace of implementation of projects that
require huge tracts of land," Kaimenyi said during the launch of the
World Bank Group's Doing Business in Kenya 2016 report.
Kaimenyi said land speculators tend to buy land in places where national projects are about to take place.
"They then demand exorbitant prices for the land which the government cannot afford," he said.
A draft bill has already been developed where stakeholders have given their input.
"It is currently before cabinet for approval. We hope to present it
to parliament in the next two months for debate so that it is endorsed
as soon as possible," Kaimenyi said.
The bill proposes to provide alternative means for government to pay
land owners when their land is compulsorily acquired for implementation
of national projects.
"Land owners will be offered land in other areas or other assets in exchange for land," the CS said.
The proposed law will also regulate valuation of land in order to prevent land speculators from profiteering from mega projects.