Mps express anger over Supreme Court ruling on land management

Syokimau residents have protested eviction

Two members of parliament from the coast region have decried recent advisory from the Supreme Court that gave powers to issue land titles to the executive terming the National Land Commission (NLC) as meant to play an oversight role.

Jomvu MP Badi Twalib and his Rabai counterpart William Kamoti say that the Supreme Court’s position will hurt the region that has been enjoying improved land management through the commission’s intervention.

Barely a week after the Supreme Court gave its advisory that sought to clarify the role of the executive and the national land commission over management of land, reactions have been rife reawakening the cause of conflict between the two institutions that led the commission to seek that advisory.

In the Wednesday ruling, the Supreme Court judges clarified on the authority to issue land titles.

“As the ultimate expression of the right to property, the power to register land and issue title deeds rightfully rested with the executive which derives its power directly from the Kenyan electorate,’’ said Chief Justice Willy Mutunga.

But one of the regions that have historically been rocked in land registration and ownership is the coast.

A section of Members of Parliament feel the commission has been their answer to their long-standing challenges, and now with the Supreme Court clarification, they feel that will be taken away.

In the declaration the Supreme Court called for a relook on the various laws in the land sector to streamline roles of the different institutions and remove structural overlaps to.

Already, the National Assembly has been reviewing the laws in a process that has been opposed by the national land commission that has protested saying the government was out to take away responsibilities of the commission, in a larger plot to derail reforms in the sector.

The two coast MPs are now threatening to oppose any amendments that threaten the NLC mandate.

Experts have argued that the national land commission cannot execute its intended constitutional mandate in the current legal framework that has now been complicated by the Supreme Court advisory opinion.



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