The Looming Deadline for submitting Land Inventories by County Governments
By Jarso Mokku,
County governments are reminded of the looming deadline to submit community land inventories to the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning. Deadline for submitting the inventory of all unregistered community lands to the CS Lands and Physical Planning by the County governments as required by law is the 23rd April 2019, just 14 days away. In pastoralist majority Counties, only few sub Counties are working towards complying with this legal requirement.
The community land regulation was gazetted 17 months ago, (on the 24th November 2017) by the Cabinet Secretary of lands via Legal Notice No.279/2017. The community land regulation Article 12 (1) says that within eighteen months from the commencement of the community land regulations, every County government shall, in consultation with the communities, prepare and submit to the Cabinet Secretary-CS an inventory of all unregistered community land within the county in Form CLA 6 set out in the Fifth Schedule.
The Pastoralist communities own their land collectively and by customary arrangment. The pastoralist people only lack the land titles that recognize them as bona fide legal owners of the lands. Article 12 (4): states that ‘if a county government does not submit the inventory of unregistered land within the period specified in Article 12 (1), the Cabinet Secretary-CS Lands and Physical Planning shall, in consultation with the communities, proceed to prepare an adjudication programme based on the existing data on adjudication programme. This is a very risk move without the inventory of the unregistered community lands by the counties. Last week, FCDC CEO Mohamed Guleid said that the Ministry of Lands seems to have a sinister motive with regards to community lands as it is not has transparent and remains non-compliant with the law on public participation and its duty of developing and rolling out of a national public education and awareness programme to provide accurate information to the people about the Community Land Act and the Rights of communities over community land. Since gazettement of the community land regulations, as required by law, the government, both the County and the nationa level have undertaken very suspicious move of grabbing community land in mass by converting it to public land through delineation of town and city boundaries into community land, amending land value index law and expanding acreage of the land required for mega national project like LAPSSET.
County Governments must up their game in the remaining 14 days to comply with the community land regulation as custodians of the unregistered community lands in order for the communities in their respective counties, particularly the pastoralist majority not to risk losing their land.