This year marks ten years since the passing of the National Land Policy, nine years after promulgation of the Constitution. It also marks the completion of the term of office of the chairman Muhammad Swazuri and his nine-member team at the helm of the National Land Commission, whose 6-year mandatory term expires on the 19th of February.
The commission’s reputation has in the past been put to question over corruption allegations, especially concerning compulsory acquisition and compensation for land.
A survey conducted late last year by the Land Development and Governance Institute (LDGI), found that a majority of Kenyans are not satisfied with the service delivery of the land commission which has been in office over the last six years.
According to the survey, 30 percent of the 744 respondents from 29 counties, conducted between 29th October and 14th November, 2018, said they were unable to access information on land raising questions on transparency and accountability.
The results show that only four percent of Kenyans have accessed online land service transactions, with over 94 percent of Kenyans remaining unaware of the automated digital service which was launched by the ministry of lands in 2018.
The lands ministry had undertaken a digitization of all land records with a goal of making it easy for Kenyans to acquire their title deeds within a short period. The exercise resulted in the digitization 57 land registries across the country as it sought to improve efficiency, increase government revenues and secure land documents.
Speaking Wednesday when he released the report in a Nairobi hotel, LDGI Director Dr. Mwenda Makathimo noted that Kenyan opinion is divided in the middle on the timelines of land transactions as 50 percent said they were satisfied with the timelines while the other half are not.
In their recent Scorecard report, the LDGI proposes that as the current National Land Commission team exits the office, critical and robust measures should be put in place to safeguard transparency and accountability.