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Lands Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi disbands all land control boards

NAIROBI
By Augustine Oduor | April 29th 2016
Lands Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi

The Government has dissolved all the land control boards in the country.

Lands Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi yesterday said the move was aimed at getting rid of cartels that have denied Kenyans their rights over the years.

He said the boards had become a hotbed of corruption.

The boards, which have been in existence since 2009, shall now be reconstituted within two weeks.

"None of the members who were in these boards shall be allowed back for obvious reasons," Prof Kaimenyi said.

The CS said his office had reliably established the ills perpetrated by the boards, including what he termed as 'special meetings' whose minutes were never agreed upon by all members.

"Some Kenyans were charged money, which has not been legitimised by Government, every time they appeared before these boards. There could be financial challenges but that is not a reason to levy cash," said Kaimenyi.

He said the boards had been in charge of the 57 land registries in the country.

The CS said having been in existence for about seven years, members of the boards had become complacent.

Kaimenyi said the boards had been in existence in excess of six years, against the spirit of corporate governance.

"They were established way back in 2009/12 under Section 5 of Lands Control Act – a 1967 Act amended in 1990 –, a span of 26 years, which is a long time," said Kaimenyi.

He said during their establishment, no term limits were set for the boards.

"The tenure was not specified and this means that the members could stay for a long time. Going by best practice, they should be in office for three years with a one-time possible renewal. This means the maximum one can be a member is six years," said Kaimenyi.

Warned staff

The dissolution of the boards comes days after Kaimenyi put ministry officials on notice over increased cases of corruption and warned those found propagating the vice of dire consequences.

Speaking yesterday, Kaimenyi said the ministry had held meetings with all staff on the urgency to end corruption.

"We have even issued a circular to remind the members of malpractices and consequences of these vices," he said.

He lauded the Chief Justice for setting up a special court to handle land matters and also noted that the ministry was working closely with the anti-corruption agencies.

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