The insistence by the Institute of Surveyors of Kenya (ISK) chairman that only those qualified in matters to do with land should serve on the National Land Commission (NLC) is not helpful at all in promoting the welfare of the majority of Kenyans in relation to the critical national resource.
While the role of the professionals in land matters can be appreciated highly enough, it is discriminatory to say that they should be the only ones to serve in the commission. Again, land matters are not only about technical issues. There are social, psychological, moral, economic, cultural, gender and even religious issues involved. That is to say that sociologists, psychologists, gender specialists, cultural ambassadors and scholars as well as economists and religious leaders can serve on the body. It therefore makes sense that such a commission comprises professionals other than those directly associated with land.
Actually the NLC Act states that anybody can serve as a commissioner as long as they hold a first degree in any field and has at least 10 years’ experience in public administration, natural resources management and/or social sciences. The ISK says this is a loophole; it is not. The proviso is properly worded and should remain as such.