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ELECTION 2022

Deputy President William Ruto says historical injustices and community lands bills will be re-looked at by all

POLITICS
By RENSON MNYAMWEZI | Aug 25th 2015 | 3 min read
Deputy President William Ruto chats with Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu during the opening of Maungu Park in Voi. [PHOTO:DPPS]

Deputy President William Ruto has assured that the Historical Injustices and Community Lands bills will not become law without proper consultations from relevant stakeholders.

He said the bills are sensitive and contentious as they touch on the lives of many hence the need for proper consultations from all stakeholders.

“The bills are very sensitive and we will bring everyone to the negotiation table before they are passed for the benefit of all Kenyans. The national and the county governments, MPs and grassroot leaders will be brought on board for input before the bills are passed by Parliament,” Mr Ruto assured.

The DP was reacting to concerns raised by the Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu who said the two bills had grey areas which needed to be amended before they are passed.

The Community Land Bill, 2014 is meant to give effect to Article 63 (5) of the Constitution; to provide for the recognition, protection and registration of community land rights and management and administration of community land.

It also stipulates the county governments’ role in relation to unregistered community land and for connected purposes.

The Council of Governors has, however, rejected the bill as inconsistent with the constitution and a threat to devolution as it denies the devolved units a role in collecting land rates and rents from the community lands.

DRACONIAN LAWS

Mr Mruttu said the governors had thoroughly interrogated the draft bills and found them not fit for the country and should be amended before being debated in Parliament.

“The bills have given the Lands Cabinet secretary powers over community and trust lands. If we are not careful, the country might return draconian laws that will continue depriving Kenyans of their land rights,” said the governor.

Mruttu expressed fears that land problems would not be adequately addressed if community and trust land would be managed by the national government.

He said about 62 per cent of the total land in his county is occupied by Tsavo National Park, 24 per cent by private farms while residents occupy less than 12 per cent.

He warned that the drafts if passed and signed into law would protect individuals who own huge chunks of land at the expense of the landless Kenyans. Ruto told coast county governments to map out areas without title deeds for purposes of settling the landless.

Speaking at Voi Primary School during a funds drive, the DP instructed acting Lands Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to meet with local MPs on Thursday to address land issues affecting the local community.

“We have enough resources and personnel to effectively deal with the squatter issue in the region. We want to deal with the thorny land issues as fast as possible because we do not want politicians to use it for political mileage in the next financial year,” said Ruto.

Dr Matiang’i said the Government has put in place elaborate plans to end the squatter menace in the Coast region.

He said over 5,200 title deeds were ready for distribution.

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