Lands Ministry On the Spot Over Community Land Act
Concerns have been raised by authorities over the Lands and Physical Planning Ministry’s Public Education and national awareness program to inform and educate the public on the Community Land Act that would clarify and explain the rights of the Community over their land. The Pastrolist Parliamentary Group (PPG) and Drylands Learning and Capacity Building Initiative have written to the Lands CS, Farida Karoney, raising concerns that the program’s stipulated time is lapsing and is yet to begin. A letter written by the CEO Mr Jarso Mokku, asks the Cabinet Secretary to provide information on whether the Education and Awareness campaign has been carried out by her ministry. The letter exclusively seen by NFD Dispatch asks the Ministry to provide details of the said campaigns. The letter reads in part ”The Community Land Act was gazetted on 7th September 2016 (Kenya gazette Supplement no 148). The Regulations that guide the registration of Community Land was gazetted on the 24th November 2017, Legal notice 279 special Issue no.2559, Kenya Gazette Supplement no.178”. The letter states, that accroding to the Ministry, the Public Education and Awareness activity has been completed by 25th October 2018 but ”we have no knowledge” that the said activity has happened. Mr Mokku, requested the Ministry to provide information and ”details of the national program for public education and awareness, what public awareness and education that have been carried out to date, how many community members were reached, the schedules of dates and the media/medium for each public education and awareness activity”
Under the Citizen Rights to Access Information of Article 35, the agencies requested the CS to provide copies of the documentation of the said Education and Awareness activity as well as the budgetary allocation for the said activity.
Article 27(1) of the Regulations states ”The Cabinet Secretary, in consultation with the County Governments, the Commission and other stakeholders will develop and roll out a national programme for public education and awareness on Provisions of the Act and the rights of communities over the community land within twelve months of the commencement of these Regulations”
The Ministry claims that the activity has been carried out which raises concerns as there is nothing to suggest that the activity has actually been carried out. The agencies express grave concerns that there is nothing to suggest the Ministry has carried out any Public Education and Awareness campaign. Land which is emotive ought to be handled ”very sensitively” and the Ministry must take the education and awareness campaign very seriously say the agencies.
CS Farida Karoney is yet to repond to the Letter dated 28th March 2019 which raises concerns of impropriety and negligence.