93 per cent of Kenyans don’t know mandate of National Land Commission, survey shows

Kenya: Majority of Kenyans do not know the functions of the National Land Commission (NLC), a survey released by the Land Development and Governance Institute (LDGI) in Nairobi has revealed.

The survey, carried out in 27 counties from April 22 to May 9 indicates that 93 per cent of Kenyans have never interacted with NLC nor do they have knowledge of its mandate over land governance in the country.

LDGI Executive Director Mwenda Makathamo said the research established that there was a large knowledge gap on the progress of land reforms in the country because majority of Kenyans do not understand the functions of either the NLC or the Ministry of Lands, leading to frustration for those seeking land services.

“Respondents interviewed had the view that there should be a clear separation of roles and functions between the Commission and the Lands ministry to enable the two institutions effectively administer and manage land,” said Mr Makathamo.

“In summation, the citizens were dissatisfied with the services provided by the institutions and demanded appropriate interventions.”

The study indicated that Kenyans want the differences between NLC and the Lands ministry resolved quickly despite being unaware of the underlying causes. Makathamo said most Kenyans feel there should be clear conflict resolution mechanisms.

“Kenyans are not keen on the tussle between the ministry and NLC but are mainly concerned with improvement of service delivery,” he said.

He said citizens feel the ministry and the commission should work together to provide better services, adding that they called for a clear separation of roles and mandates of new land institutions to ensure clarity on the functions and hence coherence and complementarity in serving Kenyans.

Ineffective ways

He called for attitude change at Ardhi House to win back public confidence, adding that the audit recently carried out by the Cabinet Secretary will be meaningless if ministry officials continue with old, corrupt and ineffective ways.

“Poor services have always been synonymous with the Ministry of Lands. Without attitude change, the audit ordered by the Lands Cabinet Secretary will be a waste of time and resources,” said Mwathane.