EDITORIAL: Land boards move spot on

Land Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Land Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Land secretary Jacob Kaimenyi’s decision to increase the sitting allowance payable to members of land boards is, on the face of it, spot on.

That is principally because at Sh500, the fees - which were set in 1999 - are way out of touch with the current realities.

Assuming the members of these boards travel from different corners of the counties for the meetings, have to eat and refresh, there was certainly a case for review.

Besides, the high levels of inflation and the accompanying erosion of the value of the shilling over the nearly 20 years made the token payment almost irrelevant.

So the narrative has been that this low level of remuneration is part of the reason the land boards are overly corrupt, making land transactions a prolonged and often a messy affair in which single pieces of land end up with multiple titles or ownership.

The proposed five-fold increase in sitting allowances for the board members is a step in the right direction, but only if it can translate to greater diligence and probity in the transactions.

Most importantly, this move must quickly lessen the burden of corruption on land owners and buyers who have had to irregularly finance the poorly paid members of the land boards.