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ISK warns land debate will disrupt reforms

By - | February 8th 2013

By Roselyne Obala

KENYA: The Institute of Surveyors of Kenya (ISK) has taken issue with the raging debate on land issues by politicians, stressing that the remarks should focus on reforms.

The association has warned that such comments have a potential of derailing meaningful achievements gained so far as espoused in the Constitution and subsequently land related laws.

ISK has also expressed concerns over the delay in putting in place new institutions to implement reforms.

The organisation’s Chairman Collins Kowuor, however, explained that ISK was not opposed to politicians discussing the crucial topic.

“These remarks should be within the law .The leaders should push for operationalisation of various institutions to reform the land sector,” he said.

Mr Kowuor added: “If these leaders champion for the gazettement of these institutions it will be a plus on their part instead of engaging in counter-accusations on allegations they cannot substantiate.”

The chairman noted that their concerns have arisen from the ongoing campaigns where politicians have taken their rivals head on over the land matter.

“We have witnessed and observed disturbing comments on land by politicians in the recent weeks yet anybody can own land. What matters is the equitable access of it,” he said.

He appealed to politicians to campaign on the basis of long-term land solutions.

The move comes after the Constitution Implementation Commission Chairman Charles Nyachae told Integration Commission Chairman Mzalendo Kibunjia and Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo not to gag politicians on the matter.

Legal framework

Mr Nyachae called on President Kibaki to gazette the names of nominees to the National Land Commission (NLC). “Long term solutions to most problems including land have to be based on enabling legal and institutional frameworks. These frameworks reside in the National Land Policy, the Land Act, The Land Registration Act and the Environment and Lands Court,” he explained.

Kowuor reiterated that NLC will enable Kenyans obtain title deeds, which are State guaranteed by advising the Central Government on registration of titles throughout the country.

“Any new Government will not be able to invalidate the document. This will facilitate access to land and promote investment in the same,” he said.

He added that NLC would encourage application of traditional dispute resolutions in land conflicts.

He said with the commissions in operation, the county management boards will also come in handy.

ISK is an organisation of land sector professionals comprising valuers, geospatial and land surveyors, registered estate agents, property managers, building surveyors, land and facilities managers.

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