Did Swazuri-led Land commission deliver its mandate?

Former National Land Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri. [Photo, Standard]

Ever since Kenya's independence, land has remained an emotive issue and a major talking point in relation to historical injustices.

It is still debatable whether the much talked about historical land injustices, were addressed during the commission's six-year tenure which ended on Tuesday.

According to land activist Anthony Otiende, ''the commission has failed not only on generating land policy but also on initiating investigations on complaints presented".

Pursuant to article 67(2) of the 2010 Constitution, one of the Commission's core function was to initiate investigations, on its own initiative or on complaint, into present or historical land injustices and recommend appropriate redress.

According to Otiende who spoke to KTN News, despite the commission highlighting a number of achievements on paper, there was nothing tangible to show on the ground, to support their claims.

The commission led by its Vice Chair Abigael Mbagaya presented a report on its achievements to Parliament, the outgoing Chairman  Muhamud Swazuri who was not present struggled to point out the commission's key achievement during their tenure.

When asked to single out his greatest achievement during an interview with KTN News, Swazuri's only answer was ''I am proud to have served my country". As if that is not enough, Swazuri claimed the verdict on his achievement lies with the Kenyan people whom he served.

What bedeviled the commission

The land commission has been marred with corruption accusations ranging from Ruaraka land saga, Standard Gauge Railway land compensation which saw six persons arrested among them Muhammad Swazuri.

Swazuri insist that despite the commission experiencing poor working relationship with the Ministry of Land, fighting several court cases as well as receiving low budget allocations, the commission rode out of the storm, delivered.

With contrasting opinions of whether the former land commission delivered or not, what remains a hard nut to crack, is a number of incomplete assignments that the next commissioners will inherit. Among them Ruaraka land saga, Standard Gauge Railway land compensations, processing title deeds for public primary schools as well as managing land disputes.

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Muhammad Swazuri.Abigael Mbagayahistorical land injusticeAnthony OtiendeRuaraka land sagaStandard Gauge Railway