IntroductionSecurity of land rights has over a long time not been guaranteed in the country. This hasaffected investments and exploitation of land based resources and continued landlessness inthe country. A large population of Kenyans is still not satisfied with the current statues of theprinciple of secure land rights.With the promulgation of the new constitution, there was need to review land legislationsThe Proposed Land BillsThe proposed land legislations before parliament are: 1. The National Land Commission Bill 2012The Bill gave effect to the constitution of Kenya 2010 that established the National LandCommission. The Bill provides for: a) functions of the commission, qualifications and procedures for the appointment of the members of the commission Functions of the commission are: I. Alienation of public land on behalf of and approval of National and county government II. Monitoring and registration of all rights and interests in land III. Developing and maintaining an effective land information management at both national and county levels IV. Review all grants or dispositions of public land to establish propriety or legality within five years b) Establishes the county land management Board Each of the board shall consist of three to nine members, two of the members who shall be ex-official shall be nominated by the governor, and one of them shall be a physical planner.
2. The Land registration Bill 2012 The bill gives effect to article 68 of the constitution. It provides for the revision, consolidation and rationalization of the law governing the registration of title to land, regulation of dealings in registered land and 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. 3. The Land Bill 2012 The gives effect to article 68 of the constitution which calls for revision, consolidation and nationalization of 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 law governing land in Kenya. The bill vests public land in the national government to be administered in trust of people of Kenya by the National Land commission as required by the constitutionPrinciples of Land Policy as outlined in chapter five of the constitution of Kenya1 Land in Kenya shall be held ,used and managed in a manner that is equitable, efficient,productive and sustainable, and in accordance with the following principles:- a) Equitable access to land b) Security of Land rights c) Sustainable and productive management of land resources d) Transparent and cost effective administration of land e) Sound conservation and protection of ecologically sensitive areas f) Elimination of gender discrimination in law, customs and practices related to land and property in land g) Encouragement of communities to settle land disputes through recognized local community initiatives consistent with the constitution2 These principles shall be implemented through a national land policy developed andreviewed regularly by the national government and through legislation
The work of the National land policy is to help in implementing the principles of land policyoutlined in chapter five, article 60 of the current constitution of Kenya.Criticism of the National Land Policy 1 The National land Policy threatens to compromise the sanctity and security of property rights through proposals to convert some private tenure to leaseholds. 2 NLP seeks to convert existing long leaseholds to 99 years; to restrict all new leaseholds to a maximum of 99 years, to abandon completely the absolute sanctity of first registration; to revert Group Ranches back to communal , trust tenure no longer under the control of local councils. 3 Confiscate land for resettling the landless. 4 Compromises the freedom to dispose and acquire land.How land bills address principles of land policy. a) The national land commission bill addresses the issue of land disputes within communities and how to resolve them through recognized local community initiatives consistent with the constitution. b) The land registration Bill emphasizes on equitable access to land, security of Land rights and elimination of gender discrimination in law, customs and practices related to land and property in land. c) The land Bill seeks to ensure sustainable and productive management of land resources, Transparent and cost effective administration of land and Sound conservation and protection of ecologically sensitive areas.Short comings of the land billsThe National Land Commission Bill does not come up with a clear criterion on how the countyland management Board will be established; hence people with vested interests may be part ofthe board.The bills have not spelt out the powers of the counties in acquiring land while at the same timesafeguarding the rights of the individual and communities hence the powers are subject toabuse by the land administrators in the county.The bills have also not been clear on public and community land currently used for wildlifeconservation.
The bills have not made any provisions for the settlement of squatters and on how demolitionsshould be undertaken.