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National Land Commission halts evictions pending new Bill

Updated Friday, May 17th 2013 at 00:00 GMT +3

By PATRICK†† BEJA††

MOMBASA; KENYA: Evictions from all public and trust land has been stopped, pending enactment of the proposed Evictions and Resettlement Bill by August, the National Land Commission (NLC) has announced.

But NLC said it has no constitutional power to order a freeze of evictions from private land issued by courts and will, instead, initiate dialogue with the Judiciary to see how to deal with the matter. This comes amid announcement that courts have ordered the eviction of squatters from 18 private properties at the Coast.

On Thursday, NLC Chairman Mohamed Swazuri said at a provincial stakeholders meeting on land regulations in Mombasa that the Commission cannot stop the eviction orders issued on private land and would resort to dialogue.

He, however, said the commission has asked for the impending evictions on public and trustee land to be stopped until the Evictions and Resettlement Act comes to effect by August.

According to Dr Swazuri, 10 out of the 18 eviction orders relate to private land with the rest issued against public land.

“The commission cannot stop effecting court orders†on private land but we will embrace dialogue. It usually takes long before court orders on land are effected and we hope we will reach a solution,” Swazuri said.

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