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Swazuri: County land boards to report to NLC

COUNTIES
By ISAAC MESO | June 4th 2014

County Land Management boards will report directly to the National Land Commission (NLC) and will not fall under regional governments.

NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri said the commission had consulted with county governments on how the boards will operate without conflicting with the laws set by the various county governments.

He further said the law empowers NLC to establish County Land Management boards for the purposes of managing public land effectively from the county level.

“We as NLC have been mandated by the Constitution to manage public land on behalf of the national and county governments. By establishing County Land Management boards, we aim to bring the services being offered at national level closer to the people,” he said.

Mr Swazuri was speaking yesterday during the opening of a four-day training programme for newly appointed secretaries to County Land Management boards at Utalii Hotel in Nairobi. He was accompanied by NLC Vice Chairperson Abigail Mbagaya.

The NLC boss urged the newly appointed secretaries to ensure integrity while conducting their work and stand firm against corrupt deals that could compromise their credibility in the counties.

He noted that the commission was also committed to ending the historical land injustices that have been highlighted in various land reports, including the Ndung’u Commission Report of 2004 and the recent Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Report.

Historical injustices

“As a commission, we intend to conclusively put to rest these past and present historical land injustices. We recently launched a task force to put in place a legal framework that will address this persistent problem,”  he said. Swazuri noted that some of the land challenges being faced by Kenyans today were the result of historical injustices hence the urgent need for a solution.

The chairman said other issues that have taken centre stage in the land debate in Kenya include optimal economic use of land, the squatter issue, proliferation of unplanned urban settlements, bad land practices and unjust land distribution among others.

He said so far, NLC had been able to appoint secretaries for Land Management boards in 42 counties and would finalise the process before the end of this week.

The five counties still awaiting secretary appointments are Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Lamu, Laikipia and Mombasa.

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