Kenyan surveyors expose lies on land

April 30, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 30 – Land experts have disputed claims that Kenyans will lose private land with the enactment of the new constitution and accused the No campaigners of misleading the public.

The Institution of Surveyors of Kenya on Friday said the provisions in the new law do not expressly provide the outright cancellation of tile deeds as claimed by a section of politicians.

“Kenyans will continue to own land either as freehold interest or leasehold interest,” said ISK Chairman Collins Kowuor at a press conference.

“The draft clearly provides for protection of property rights and formulation of laws to govern the acquisition of land for public utility and also provides for compensation of landowners in instances of compulsory acquisition.”

Mr Kowuor said the Land chapter is well drafted to ensure justice to land owners and at the same time protect public land from grabbers.

“The National Land Commission will prevent abuse of land administration and management processes that has characterised land administration in Kenya,” he said.

The No camp dominated by Rift Valley MPs is riding on the chapter of land saying it gives powers to the National Land Commission and Parliament to decide the minimum and maximum land size.

Some have gone to the extent of suggesting that those with 10 acres and above, will lose five to the government.

However the Proposed Constitution states that this is going to be though wide consultations.
Retired President Daniel Moi has demanded that the entire Land Chapter should be deleted if he was to support the draft.

The Institution sought to dispel the notion that Kenyans will lose control of their land and said that the new law withdraws the exclusive control of land from the executive.

“Communities will have a constitutional guarantee to participate in the administration of community land through community land boards and District Land boards with the National Land Commission providing technical advice and oversight,” opined Mr Kowuor. 

The surveyors accused some politicians of spreading falsehoods and taking advantage of the volatile nature of the land issue to popularise their No stand.

“The upcoming referendum will essentially not be a choice between the proposed Constitution and perfection, but a choice between the current land problems and possible solutions to the land problems,” said Mr Kowuor.


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