Functions of the National Land Commission
(a) on behalf of, and with the consent of the national and county governments, alienate public land;
(b) monitor the registration of all rights and interests in land;
(c) ensure that public land and land under the management of designated state agencies are sustainably managed for their intended purpose and for future generations;
(d) develop and maintain an effective land information management system at national and county levels;
(e) manage and administer all unregistered trust land and unregistered community land on behalf of the county government; and
(f) develop and encourage alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in land dispute handling and management.
President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga are locked in a tussle over a nominee to the crucial team that will spearhead land reforms in the country.
House Speaker Kenneth Marende said Tuesday that he’d received the names of nominees to the National Land Commission, through a letter dated July 4, 2012 from the Office of the President signed by Permanent Secretary Francis Kimemia, who is also the acting head of the public service.
The letter said the two principals had agreed on the nominees.
The agreed list contained Dr Muhammad Swazuri as the designated chairman of the commission. The nominees to sit as members of the National Land Commission were Dr Tomiik Konyimbih, Mr Silas Kinoti Muriithi, Dr Rose Musyoka, Dr Samuel Kipngetich Tororei, Ms Abigael Mbagaya, Ms Emma Muthoni, Mr Clement Lenachuru, and Mr Abdulkadir Adan Khalif
However, a few days later, Mr Kimemia wrote to Parliament seeking to have one of the nominees dropped from the list and a new one join the team.
Mr Kimemia wanted Mr Abdulkadir Adan Khalif dropped and his place taken up by a Mr Mohammed AW.
But the Office of the Prime Minister, in a letter dated July 13, “contested the replacement”, the Speaker said.
The Speaker thus ordered that the disagreement in the Executive will be sorted out by the House committee on Lands and Natural Resources, whose duty is to vet the nominees and present them to Parliament within 21 days after the committee first receives the names.
“I direct that the names of all the nominees, and the accompanying curriculum vitae and other documents relating to those nominees be forwarded to the committee… for consideration and report on or before August 14, 2012. In addition, the two letters (from the President and the Prime Minister) also be forwarded for the committee to consider them as they deem appropriate,” ruled Mr Marende.
Manage public land
The National Land Commission has the constitutional authority to manage public land on behalf of the national and county governments; and to recommend a national land policy to the national government. It also has the role of advising the national government on a comprehensive programme for the registration of title in land throughout Kenya.
It will also be the role of the commission to conduct research related to land and the use of natural resources, and make recommendations to appropriate authorities. Besides, it will initiate investigations, on its own initiative or on a complaint, into present or historical land injustices, and recommend appropriate redress.
The law also gives the commission powers to encourage the application of traditional dispute resolution mechanisms in land conflicts; to assess tax on land and premiums on immovable property in any area designated by law; and to monitor and have “oversight responsibilities” over land use planning throughout the country.
The House Committee on Lands and Natural Resources is chaired by Gachoka MP Mutava Musyimi.
The last time the President and the Prime Minister disagreed on what was a joint list to Parliament was the nominees to the National Police Service Commission. The matter is still pending in Parliament.