Civil Society Representatives and CEDGG on Land Rights Reforms Introduced by the new Kenyan Constitution - Foundation Office Kenya
The land rights reforms introduced by the new Kenyan Constitution, including the new Law on Community Land and the introduction of Historical Land Injustices Committee seem to be promising. They could solve and prevent a lot of land-related conflict, if correctly implemented. The workshop on the social and political implications of landrights entailed many contentious debates on the upcoming bills and their correct interpretation. The Kenyan Land Alliance and the CEDGG informed the participants about their concrete consequences and controversies.
One of the key highlights of the workshop is that the new bills regulating the historical land injustices. Women property rights have now the potential to annul the past illegal taking allocation of land and to grant women more rights. Grace Mwailemi from the Kenyan Land Alliance gave a background of the historical land injustices and made the participants reflect on the existing limitations of the new law. The Coordinator of the Community Land Rights Programme, Husna Mbara, addressed the relevance of the community land bill and the necessary procedural steps for its recognition.
These bills also show some uncertainties and controversial restrictions even if it should be used to reduce poverty and inequality between the citizens in the first place. In addition to the land governance issues, the importance of the extractive sector in Kenya was raised during the workshop and its potential to contribute to kenyan economic development.
The participation of the politicians from Baringo County Government was encouraging. The Government representatives emphasized their role as the trustees of community land and also explained the implications of the constitutional moratorium of transactions on community land until the community land law is in place.
At the end of the workshop participants developed an action plan with events, which should serve civic education to citizens about their land rights. Among those, actions such as county consultations at sub-county and county level were planned to mobilize more stakeholders and develop strategies to engage investors in the extractive industry within the county.
All in all, the workshop was very informative and led to concrete results such as the establishment of an mutul action plan for the following months with the Kenyan Land Alliance and the County Government. There are follow up workshops planned, especially in rural counties which are even more affected by the land right issues.