|National Land Commission Functions Proposed|
|Thursday, 27 January 2011|
Speaking recently at a workshop in Mombasa, PS Dorothy N. Angote told a Ministerial Land Technical Team and Law Experts that to derive suitable and workable functions for the two entities, objectivity, openness and honesty must prevail.
Noting that NLC would be operationalized in 2012, Ms. Angote said that the Ministry would also call in other stakeholders to help establish appropriate structures and values upon which the new Commission could manage land.
“We have begun the process to identify NLC’s mandate”, the PS told senior Ministry staff and Constitutional lawyers, noting that the Ministry of Lands would have to re-invent itself to meet its new role in Central Government. “We may merge with other Ministries to take up new and equally important responsibilities”, she said noting that resource mobilization would be key in the initiation of new programmes.
The Constitution proposes NLC to be an oversight body. A tentative structure suggested at the workshop shows Lands as its parent Ministry. It is steered by a Chairman (Secretary) and run by a Director General, under whom five directorates fall. These are Administration, Lands, Spatial Planning, Geo-Spatial Planning and Supervisor of County Boards.
Among the functions proposed for NLC include holding titles to public land on behalf of the State, assessing tax on land and premiums on immovable property, Inspectorate and Audit services, and ensuring compliance with Spatial Development Plans. It was also proposed that NLC deals with informal settlements, historical injustices, IDPs, Coast Land problems, restitution and disaster prone regions.
NLC is also expected to support County Governments and deal with innovations such as e-conveyancing, research and development, and market support. New institutions proposed under the NLC are County Land Boards, Community Land Boards, a Land Trust Fund and Land Tribunals.
It was suggested that NLC and provide specific policies, such as, land development, land use, and land registration, and to help develop capacity and technical support to District Land Boards (DLBs) and County Land Boards (CLBs).
At County level, it was proposed that NLC also deals with compliance with Spatial Development Plans, hold titles to public land on behalf of the State and develop and manage a Land Information Management System (LIMS). Other functions included Settlement and Adjudication and Group Ranches Administration.
Functions proposed for the Ministry include co-ordination of international affairs, namely conventions, protocols and international boundaries. It is also expected to catalyze innovations and public-private partnerships. “A key area for the Ministry would be regulation and support to the land and build environment professionals”, said resource person Prof. Saad Yahya of the University of Nairobi.
Noting that the Ministry’s core mandate is to manage and administer land resources, PS Angote said the Ministry welcomed proposals for news functions and services on the basis of the expectations of Kenya Vision 2030, Regional Integration and the effects of globalization.
It was also suggested that the Ministry help formulate and oversee national policies such as Land Administration, Dispute Resolution, Kenya National Spatial Data, Group Ranches, Discharge Survey Services and Special Planning Procurement (PPP.
Each commission is expected to establish its structure depending on what the line Ministry proposes. Others are oversight and monitoring land use and spatial planning, investigating and recommending cancellation of unlawfully allocated land.
The current functions of the Ministry of Lands include valuation, registration of land. It also deals with cadastral Survey, Mapping and Hydrographic survey. It also formulates national, regional and local physical development plans and their economies.
In his paper on the Principles of the National Land Policy at the workshop, Prof. Paul Syagga of the University of Nairobi said reforms were necessary to strengthen land rights.
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