, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 18 – The government has dispelled fears on the legality of grants, leases and certificates of title issued by the Jubilee Administration after 2013, saying a court order issued recently remains suspended for a year to allow conformity.
Lands Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi says media reports on the issue are erroneous since the High Court order gave the government 12 months to validate the certificates with advice of the National Land Commission, public participation and parliamentary approval, to make them compliant with provisions of the law.
“I wish to re-assure the public that contrary to what is reported, grants, leases and certificates of titles issue by my ministry are legal, valid and legitimate,” he asserted.
“The public and institutions dealing with these documents of land ownership are hereby assured of their validity.”
The CS says already a task force has been formed to look at relevant regulations within two months, after which the lands law amendments of 2016 will be implemented, as directed by the court.
He has assured the public that the ministry will ensure that the draft regulations are completed and submitted to Parliament for approval within the period granted by court to avoid the certificates from being nullified.
“In the fullness of time, the members of the public and all stakeholders will be invited to make their contribution towards the process being carried out by the Task Force,” he stated during a press briefing with journalists on Wednesday.
“The ministry’s focus is to ensure that the draft regulations are completed and submitted to Parliament for approval within the period granted by court. The ministry wishes to assure the public that the High Court order shall be complied with before the expiry of the 12 months timeline.”
He said the public should not fear or “doubt on the land ownership documents they hold.”
The High Court ruling observed that the Jubilee Government issued the certificates without proper public participation and the input of the National Land Commission.
“That considering the immediate consequences of the above declaration on the registration of titles processes currently ongoing and already undertaken, the declaration of invalidity is suspended to enable the CS initiate meaningful engagement with the public, seek and take into account the advice of the NLC, on the challenged regulations and forms pursuant to section 110(2) of the Land Registration Act (LRA) and seek Parliament’s approval pursuant to Sections 110(2) of the LRA and Section 11 of the Statutory Instruments Act No. 23 OF 2013,” reads the High Court ruling.
The other ruling is however clear that, “the declaration of the invalidity shall not operate retroactively.”