NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 19 – The National Land Commission has dismissed allegations that it is interfering with administration of land matters in the Lands Ministry.
Speaking at a Nairobi Hotel on Wednesday, deputy chairperson Abigail Mbagaya clarified that the Constitution clearly states that the functions, assets and duties carried out by the previous Lands Ministry were duly transferred to the Commission.
“The same law, the National Land Commission Act Section 31 says that the Commission will take over of the functions that were previously carried out by the Lands Ministry that have now been transferred to the Commission,” she stated.
“What we have done is simply taken over the assets, the liabilities and the staff.”
“Like I said some of these challenges are just transitional challenges and I know that we are assertive enough; we are up to the task and we are going to deliver for Kenyans.”
There have been persistent wrangles after Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu accused the Mohammed Swazuri-led commission of interference.
Speaking at a hand over of title deeds in Nairobi’s Kayole Estate this week, Ngilu said that the commission’s main function is to deal with registration of public land and renewal of land leases but nothing to do with titles.
Mbagaya says although the commission has been faulted for being slow in implementing its mandate, it has achieved a lot despite the accusations levelled against it.
“The commission is keen to strengthen the systems of operations within the lands sector.”
“When you strengthen the system of operation, put in place proper controls; proper structures even in the manual system as we continue with the digitisation of the lands sector we should see improve service delivery,” she added.
“There are certain functions of the commission that are time bound in the law that we must achieve in within a certain period of time,” she said at a meeting with members of the Editors’ Guild in Nairobi.
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Mbagaya outlined the progress being made by the commission with regard to land reform implementation including the short listing of County Land Management Boards candidates and the setting up of a taskforce to deal with past injustices management.
Speaking at the meeting, the National Coordinator, Kenya Land Alliance, Odenda Lumumba, said that the Ministry of Lands should be restructured to create order to manage community land which is the prevalent frontier of expansion and development.
“All these other intrigues and show offs about who is in charge of what are immaterial.”
“66.8 per cent is of the country’s land is community land and this is land that needs to be managed for development and who would do this with all these wrangles happening?”