Land Reforms in Kenya and around Africa

This blog focuses on issues of land reforms in Kenya and around Africa and related matters

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Recent blog posts

Over the holiday season, I’d to spend some time advising on some simple disputes. In the process, I appreciated that many, including state officers, political leaders and land owners at the rural level, haven’t fully understood their roles, rights and obligations under our current dispensation. This adversely exposes private land rights while leaving state and political leaders vulnerable to arguable lawsuits. Some experiences help to underscore.

Need to assert ownership rights

While we operated the old constitution, I was called in to help some land owner reclaim parts of his land that had been ‘declared’ public land and converted to a road of access by an area Councilor. As it turned out, the councilor was ‘feared’ in the locality. It therefore took effort to convince the land owner that he held discretion to assert his rights and reject such intrusion.

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Parklands demolition and tenure security

I learnt about the Parklands property demolition through the Nation Media Group website while away in a continental discussion on matters land. Tenure of land always occupies center stage in such discussions.  The right to own, lease and use land peacefully keeps civilizations going. The need for recognition, documentation and protection of land tenure rights is fundamental. Without recognition, we end up with multiple claimants and disputes; without documentation, one has no evidence of what they own and without protection, the rights can be defeated fraudulently or forcefully.

States that fail to protect land tenure rights risk facing social and economic instability that can, in extreme circumstances, foster political instability and threaten governments. So what happened in Parklands should attract top policy and political attention and systematic institutional redress.

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Posted by on in Land Laws

At the end of August, President Kenyatta assented and brought into life the Land Laws (Amendment) Act which amends the Land, the Land Registration and the National Land Commission Acts. Some provisions in the new law need to be carefully noted.

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Kajiado a challenge for surveyors

Most serious surveyors dread taking up survey tasks in Kajiado County, professional fee notwithstanding. Yet such tasks relate to mundane issues like incorrectly stated sizes of parcels, absence of parcels on official registry maps, identifying parcels for valuation or resolving simple encroachment issues. I am sure this sounds familiar to those with land around Kitengela, Isinya, Kiserian, Ongata Rongai, Ngong and other parts of Kajiado. This isn’t so in most other Counties where surveyors easily use available maps to resolve such basic issues. So what makes Kajiado so frustrating and peculiar? Why are serious Licensed Surveyors uncomfortable taking up tasks in Kajiado County, leaving it to the mercy of many unregistered and unqualified surveyors who have made matters a lot worse?


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A while back, a friend of mine identified a plot for purchase and proceeded to draw up the necessary agreements with the owner, whom, for this discussion, we shall call Sungura Mjaja. All the due diligence was done; a survey plan was bought, a field visit was made, an official search conducted and the identity card of the seller checked out for conformity with the search details.

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