MPs Approve Law Amendments Seeking to Strip NLC Powers

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The National Land Commission(NLC) is at risk of losing its mandated powers over the management of land in the country after lawmakers pushed to pass amendments to the existing land laws. 

In a meeting led by the National Assembly Committee on Land Chairperson John Nyamoko, NLC was pressured to explain its functions, citing underperformance and widespread corruption involving land matters. 

Defending the commission, the NLC CEO Kabale Aero explained that influence from other institutions affected their functionality and effectiveness in service delivery. 

“I will rate the commission at 7 out of 10 because the remaining three is as a result of influence affecting our commission from other institutions,” Kabale stated. 

Members of Parliament attending President William Ruto’s State of Nation address on November 9, 2023.

Photo

Musalia Mudavadi

According to the proposed amendments, the powers stripped from NLC will be bestowed upon the Land CS, Alice Wahome, allowing her to compulsorily acquire public land on behalf of the county and National governments. 

NLC however opposed the amendments terming them unconstitutional, adding that the move would open up land matters to political influence. 

“These amendments are seeking to delete a whole constitutional commission from the law and replace it with the CS,” NLC noted. 

In a separate matter, the lawmakers also approved the publication of a bill on land-buying firms that will see the state acquire millions of shillings annually, in efforts to curb fraud involving land matters. 

If passed, the Bill will require land dealing companies to pay Ksh500 million shillings as licensing fees before they are cleared for registration. 

President Wiliam Ruto directed the slashing of NLC powers in May last year, bestowing the same upon the Ministry of Land, citing the upsurge in corruption cases that stemmed during the compensation process.

“Going forward, it is not possible for NLC to decide where the compensation is going to happen, who is going to be compensated and then they also decide how much it is going to be paid. Ruto stated. 

“We must separate powers for purposes of accountability. NLC will work on their mandate and the Ministry of Lands will handle the valuation.”

President William Ruto speaking during a church service at Isiolo on Sunday, May 21, 2023.

PCS



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