The elusive land reforms in the country hang in the balance following piecemeal budgetary allocations to the National Land Commission, writes HAROLD AYODO
It is an open secret that land has been an emotive and thorny issue even before Independence and played a major role during the post-election violence in 2007/08.
However, the new Constitution provides a framework for land reforms towards improving a myriad challenges facing the sector.
The supreme law provides for the establishment of the National Land Commission (NLC) whose functions include managing public land on behalf of the national and county governments.
Others are to recommend a national land policy to the national government and advise on a comprehensive programme for registration of title deeds countrywide.
It will also initiate investigations either on its own initiative or on a complaint into present or historical land injustices and recommend appropriate redress.
But barely a week after Finance Minister Njeru Githae read the 2012/13 Budget, an exclusive report exposes glaring gaps that would hamper land reforms.
The report titled Budgeting for Land Reforms: Ensuring People’s Participation, says allocations to the NLC are piecemeal.
The study by Hakijamii and the International Budget Partnership (IBP) included reviews of audit reports by the Auditor General and the Ministry of Lands.
According to the report, the much awaited land reforms through the NLC remain a mirage following its laughable budgetary allocations.
Land Development and Governance Institute director Ibrahim Mwathane says lack of sufficient budgetary support is the surest way to defeat land reforms.
“Operationalisation of the NLC and the 47 county land boards would be impossible without funds,” Mwathane says.
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