Dozens of politicians have been shortlisted as candidates for the positions of chairperson and commissioners at the National Land Commission (NLC) in a list that includes top lawyers, researchers, surveyors and land experts.
A total of 11 individuals among them former Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) boss John Njiraini and lawyer Gershom Otachi, who appeared for Kenyan suspects at the International Criminal Court (ICC), were listed for the position of chairperson.
Former Meru governor hopeful and land expert Dr Mwenda Makathimo, land surveyor Robert Kilimo, UN-Habitat consultant and Ministry of Lands Deputy Director for Urban Development Patrick Adolwa, former Gatanga MP Dr Humphrey Njuguna, Commissioner of the Advocates Complaints Commission Naomi Wagereka, and former Isiolo woman rep Tiyah Galgalo Ali were also shortlisted for the chairperson position.
Former Nyeri MP Esther Mathenge and Dr Hussein Farah, the director of the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development, also made it to the shortlist for chairperson position out of 117 applicants for the position.
Ms Priscilla Nyokabi, the chairperson of the Selection Panel, announced that 50 individuals were shortlisted out of a total of 940 applications for the position of NLC board member, out of which only eight will be picked to fill the positions since the expiry of the term of the first commissioners in February.
Former elected leaders in the shortlist for the position of board member include Mong’are Okong’o (Nyamira senator), Francis Nderitu (Ndaragwa MP), Bonface Otsiula (Bumula MP), Alex Muthengi (Tharaka MP), Omingo Magara (South Mugirango MP) and Kazungu Kambi, a former Kaloleni MP and Labour Cabinet Secretary.
From the academia and research, the shortlisted applicants include Prof Gitile Naituli (Management and Leadership), Dr Nyakundi Amenya, Prof James Tuitoek (former Egerton University Vice-Chancellor), multi-party democracy activist Prof Anne Kisaka Nangulu and Prof Joseph Kieyah.
A number of those shortlisted serve in various groups as commissioners including Sam Kona (Chairperson of the board of National Council for Population and Development), Adan Abdi Mohamed (National Cohesion and Integration Commission), Dr Galgalo Ali (chairperson of the National Council for Nomadic Education in Kenya ) and Dr Raymond Nyeris (Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee Commissioner).
There is also Dr Gumato Ukur Yatani, a commissioner at the National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) and NTSA Director-General Francis Meja.
The list has a number of former commissioners and senior government officials among them former EACC commissioner Irene Cheptoo, former head of the National Police Service Commission Amina Masoud, former Forestry and Wildlife PS Kombo Mwero, former Electoral Commission of Kenya member Anne Wambaa and former Health PS Dr Khadijah Kassachoon.
Further, it includes former NCPB boss Tirop Kosgey, former PS Ambassador Wellington Godo and retired military captain Collins Wanderi.
County government officials on the shortlist are Turkana County land surveyor Ekai Nalipan, Makueni County government County Executive Committee member Joshua Wambua and Kirinyaga County municipal board member Alister Mutugi.
Other shortlisted candidates are human resource practitioner Charles Mwita Chacha, Director of Land Adjudication and Settlement and Acting Land Secretary Esther Ogega, Head of Finance and Administration at Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation Stephen Mugwe Thuo, NCL Deputy Director for Land Use and Planning Charles Konyango.
Alice Jepkoech, Anne Kiusya, President Uhuru Kenyatta niece Margret Shiva, unsuccessful Law Society of Kenya chairperson aspirant Alex Gatundu, Katwa Kigen who represented suspect Joshua Sang at the ICC are some of the lawyers shortlisted for board member.
According to Ms Nyokabi, the interviews are set to start as from July 29 and end on August 2.