Ministry blamed for delay in law limiting land ownership


NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri.file photo | nmg

The National Land Commission (NLC) has blamed the ministry for delay in enacting a law capping the size of acreage as it prepares to launch investigations into cases of historical injustices.

To ensure land is available for reparation to victims of historical justices, capping the private land sizes top the list of remedies cited under the national land policy.

There is currently no legal framework for implementing private land size caps even as the NLC prepares to launch historical injustices programme in Murang’a from the first week of December.  

This follows last month’s gazettement of regulations for conducting such investigations.

The Kenya Minimum and Maximum Land Holding Acreage Bill 2015 drafted by the Constitution Implementation Commission (CIC) lapsed after the 10th parliament failed to pass it within allowable time.

“Capping land sizes remains critical to the exercise which starts next month but it is the land ministry which has the duty to enact that law,” NLC chairman  Muhammad Swazuri told the Business Daily. Had the CIC law sailed through, individuals in rich agricultural highlands would be owning a maximum of 10 hectares (24.7 acres) with those in low potential areas having a ceiling of 15 hectares.

READ: NLC issues guidelines for investigating land injustices

Identified areas with upper limit of 24.7 acres include Bomet, Kisii, Nyamira, Nandi, Trans-Zoia, Vihiga, Uasin Gishu and Bungoma counties. 

Semi-arid areas were to permit maximum individual ownership of 25 hectares (61.8 acres) while dry and remote sections of Isiolo, Mandera, Kajiado, Kwale, Garissa, Wajir, Tana River and Turkana counties were to allow individuals to own up to 2,471 acres.

Land secretary Jacob Kaimenyi declined to answer our specific questions on the pending law even as he insisted that the ministry staff was ready to extend technical support as NLC commences investigations.