, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – Amani National Coalition Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi has opposed changes proposed in the Land Laws (Amendment) Bill terming them as ‘unconstitutional’.
Mudavadi says the amendment contained in the Bill sponsored by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale will water down the mandate and independence of the National Land Commission in the allocation of public land that supersedes that of the government.
He argues passage of the Bill will return the power to freely allocate land to the President through his appointed Cabinet Secretary.
“But Jubilee wants to substitute this constitutional authority of NLC with a Cabinet Secretary. This means we are returning power to freely allocate land to the President through his appointed CS,” Mudavadi, who was speaking from Garissa said.
If the proposed Lands Laws (Amendment) Bill 2015 is passed, the cabinet secretary will have the sole power to issue guidelines on the determination of land holding among married couples and family members and determine land holding by non-citizens among others.
He added that the independence of the Commission will be weakened if the President is allowed to solely appoint the NLC Commissioners through the Public Service Commission as is proposed in the Bill.
The proposed also purports to remove NLC’s constitutional role of alternative dispute resolution, an amendment that is not worth the paper it is written on because the constitution clearly forbids Parliament from amending the Constitution in matters relating to the powers and functions of constitutional commissions and independent offices without a referendum.