Pastoralists threaten to sue State over land legislation
Monday, March 2nd, 2020
- Isiolo Woman Rep Rehema Jaldesa said since the Legal Notice 150 of 27 August 2019 notice was formally gazetted, it has given way for the ongoing survey and demarcation of land especially in Isiolo county.
- Land in Isiolo County for instance, has historically, been trust land and has been utilised communally by the people of Isiolo.
- The Constitution, specifically Chapter 5, renamed such land as community land, which is now governed by the Land Act 2012 and Community Land 2016 as enabling legislation.
George Kebaso @Morarak
Delegates drawn mainly from the pastoralists’ areas have threatened to sue the government at the International Court of Justice if it does not revoke a legal notice that allows alleged grabbing of community land.
The delegates who converged in Nairobi on Friday to discuss the ongoing implementation of the Community Land Act 2016, accused the Lands Ministry of micromanaging implementation of this piece of legislation.
Led by Isiolo Woman Rep Rehema Jaldessa, the delegates said since the Legal Notice 150 of 27 August 2019 was formally gazetted, it has paved way for the ongoing survey and demarcation of land, especially in Isiolo county.
“This should immediately be halted until all outstanding issues on land are satisfactorily resolved. If this does not stop, we will stop at nothing to see that this is halted.
We will go to the Appeal Court, and even file a legal matter at the ICJ, if we fail to get an order stopping the grabbing of our ancestral land,” she said even as the United Nations pledged to help Kenya develop guidelines to help in the management of land tenure systems.
The legislator said Parliament had done its part by passing the Community Land Act in 2016. What remains, she said, is for the government to facilitate the National Land Commission (NLC) and the county governments to implement the Act.
“The process is slow because the ministry is not a direct implementer. It is supposed to be the counties and the NLC, but the Ministry of Lands is micro-managing the process. We are demanding that the ministry be hands-off on this process. Let the due process take place,” she said.
Land in Isiolo County for instance, has historically, been trust land and has been utilised communally by the people of Isiolo.
The Constitution of Kenya 2010, specifically Chapter 5, renamed such land as community land, which is now governed by the Land Act 2012 and Community Land 2016 as enabling legislation.
“Pursuant to Article 63 of the Constitution and Section 6 of the Community Land Act, unregistered/adjudicated community land became vested in County Governments to hold in trust for communities. But the implications of the Legal Notice No. 150 are multiple, and adversely affect the interests of the people of Isiolo County,” Jaldesa said.
She said the Legal Notice No. 150 which the Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney used to execute, was not consultative and affects the community.
However, Tobias Takarasha, Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), Kenya country representative said the UN agency will ensure that the internationally accepted guideline used in responsible governance of tenure at national and regional level.
Karoney said the government has conducted a number of consultations with communities in helping them understand Community Land Act (CLA).
“We are in the process of educating communities to start developing their own by-laws to manage their land resource,” she said.