, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 20 – The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has urged Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu and National Land Commission Chairman Mohammed Swazuri to seek constitutional interpretation at the Supreme Court on their roles.
LSK Chairman Eric Mutua says persistent wrangles between the two offices is hampering delivery of services to Kenyans, hence the need to urgently seek a permanent solution.
“There is a controversy on the interpretation of the law. The arbiter is the court of law and the answer remains with the interpretation from the Supreme Court,” Mutua said at a meeting with Swazuri at Ardhi House on Thursday afternoon.
“I think it is very critical for the ministry to realise that the National Land Commission is an independent constitutional commission whose mandate is laid down clearly under the Constitution.”
“Further wrangles and conflict will affect delivery of services and a formula in administration should be formulated for the benefit of the public.”
“Our advice to the National Land Commission is that under the Constitution they are entitled to move to the Supreme Court for purposes of getting an advisory opinion in relation to these two different interpretations of the Constitution so that this question is laid to rest.” READ Swazuri overstepping his mandate, says Ngilu
Mutua says that the National Lands Commission was envisaged under the Constitution as a powerful body whose mandate was to come on board and try and resolve the many issues faced in the Land Ministry.
“In my view, the commission is not a sub-department for the Land Ministry, it is a separate body,” he explained.
“The moment we start looking at the commission as a department of the ministry then the very role of the commission is lost.
“We cannot bequeath those functions and roles to the Land Ministry.”
Speaking at the same venue, Swazuri assured Kenyans that his commission is ready and willing to serve Kenyans, despite the wrangles with Ngilu.
“No time has the commission ever refused to work with the Land Ministry; we have been called to meetings and we have always been there.”
“It is in the Constitution that we are supposed to consult and have participatory decision making and we have done that.”
“We are guided by the law and the Constitution in order to deliver services to the public.”
Mutua confirmed that further consultations shall be conducted between Ngilu and the LSK to bring the conflict to an end.