, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 9 – The Cabinet on Thursday approved three vital Bills that are expected to overhaul and streamline land management and administration in the country.
At a meeting chaired by President Mwai Kibaki, the ministers approved the National Land Commission Bill 2012 which seeks to identify the functions of the commission, qualifications and procedures for appointment to the commission.
The Bill gives effect to the Constitution provision that has established the National Land Commission as well as the objects and principles of devolved government in land management and administration.
The commission shall consist of a chairman and members who will serve for a non-renewable term of six years.
Its functions include alienation of public land and approval of the national and county government, monitoring registration of all rights and interests in land and developing and maintaining an effective land information management at both the national and county levels.
The Commission will have the mandate to review all grants or dispositions of public land to establish propriety or legality within five years.
The Bill also establishes the County Land Management Boards. Each of the boards shall consist of at least three members but not more than nine. Two of the members who shall be ex-officio shall be nominated by the governor, one of whom shall be a physical planner.
A member of the board unless ex-officio, shall be appointed for a single non-renewable term of five years. The constitution of the board shall take into consideration gender equality and be sensitive to the county’s ethnic composition
The Cabinet also approved the Land Bill 2012 which will revise, consolidate and nationalise land laws, to provide for the sustainable administration and management of land and land based resources.
This will apply to all land declared as public, private and community by the Constitution.
The Bill consolidates various laws on land into one substantive legislation governing land in Kenya. The Bill vests public land in the national government to be administered in trust for the people of Kenya by the National Land Commission as required by the Constitution.
The Land Registration Bill 2012 was also cleared ahead of Parliament re-opening on Tuesday.
It provides for the revision, consolidation and rationalisation of the law governing the registration of title to land, regulation of dealings in registered land and to give effect to the principles and objects of devolved government in land registration. The Bill requires the National Land Commission to establish land registries in all the counties.
The three bills will be published before being tabled in Parliament for debate and approval.
The Cabinet further approved restructuring of the balance sheet of the Kenya Railways Corporation which entails the conversion of the debts owed by Kenya Railways to the government into equity.
The move will give the corporation a stronger capital base.