The sensitivity of Land as a subject in Kenya…….
Crimes revolving around Land acquisition in Kenya have been some of the most complex assignments by the judicial system since independence having started almost immediately after the colonial government. This is the same time that land injustices started being experienced in various parts of the country as the indigenous people started settling and taking control of their newly acquired independence in 1963.
According to the Kenya Human Rights Commission [KHRC] report of land injustices, Land has been and remains a politically sensitive and culturally complex issue for Kenya. Kenya’s history with regard to the land question is characterized by indications of a breakdown in land administration, disparities in land ownership, tenure insecurity and conflict.
What are the guiding principles for Kenya’s land policy today?
The Constitution at Article 60 identifies the following as key principles informing Kenya’s land policy:
- Equitable access to land
- Security of land rights
- Sustainable and productive management of land resources
- Transparent and cost-effective administration of land;
- Sound conservation and protection of ecologically sensitive areas;
- Elimination of gender discrimination in law, customs and practices related to land and property in land; and
- Encouragement of communities to settle land dispute through recognized local community initiatives consistent with this Constitution. On the right to property, it should be noted that constitutional safeguards on property rights do not extend to any property that has been found to have been unlawfully acquired. [Article 40(6)].
We will be running a series of posts that enlighten you on land and what you need to know as you acquire one or engage in related transactions so that you remain within the law!