The National Land Commission is established under Article 67 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.
Functions of the National Land Commission
The functions of the National Land Commission are—
- To manage public land on behalf of the national and county governments.
- To recommend a national land policy to the national government.
- To advise the national government on a comprehensive programme for the registration of title in land throughout Kenya.
- To conduct research related to land and the use of natural resources, and make recommendations to appropriate authorities.
- To initiate investigations, on its own initiative or on a complaint, into present or historical land injustices, and recommend appropriate redress.
- To encourage the application of traditional dispute resolution mechanisms in land conflicts.
- To assess tax on land and premiums on immovable property in any area designated by law.
- To monitor and have oversight responsibilities over land use planning throughout the country.
The National Land Commission Act provides for the following additional functions of the National Land Commission-
- To alienate public land on behalf of, and with the consent of the national and county governments.
- To monitor the registration of all rights and interests in land.
- To ensure that public land under the management of the designated state agencies is sustainably managed for the intended purposes.
- To develop and maintain an effective land information system for the management of public land.
Powers of the National Land Commission
The National Land Commission has the following powers –
- To gather, by such means as it considers appropriate, any relevant information including requisition of reports, records, documents or any information from any source, including any State organ, and to compel the production of such information where it considers necessary.
- To hold inquiries for the purposes of performing its functions under this Act.
- To take any measures it considers necessary to ensure compliance with the principles of land policy set out in Article 60(1) of the Constitution.
Membership of the National Land Commission
The National Land Commission membership consists of a chairperson and eight other members appointed in accordance with the Constitution and the provisions of this National Land Commission Act.
The chairperson and members of the National Land Commission are appointed in accordance with the procedure set out in the First Schedule.
Procedure for Appointment of Chairperson and Members of the Commission
The President is to within fourteen days whenever a vacancy arises, constitute a selection panel comprising a nominee of the Office of the President; a representative of the Cabinet Secretary for Lands; two persons of the opposite gender nominated by the Non-Governmental Organizations Council, who have demonstrated competence and capacity in matters related to natural resources; one person who is a citizen of Kenya, nominated by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance from their member organizations who has demonstrated competence and capacity in the land sector, a nominee of the Association of Professional Societies in East Africa; and a nominee of the National Gender and Equality Commission.
Thereafter the Public Service Commission is to convene the first meeting of the selection panel, at which the members of the selection panel are to elect a chairperson from among their number and provide the selection panel with such facilities and other support as it may require for the discharge of its functions under the National Land Commission Act.
The selection panel is to within seven days of convening, by advertisement in at least two daily newspapers of nationwide circulation, invite applications from persons who qualify for nomination and appointment for the position of the chairperson and members of the National Land Commission.
After the expiry of the deadline for receipt of applications, the selection panel shall within twenty-one days consider the applications received to determine their compliance with the provisions of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and the National Land Commission Act.
Thereafter the selection panel is to shortlist the applicants, publish the names of the shortlisted applicants and the qualified applicants in at least two daily newspapers of nationwide circulation, conduct interviews of the shortlisted persons in public, shortlist two qualified applicants for the position of chairperson, shortlist sixteen qualified applicants for the position of the members and forward the names of the qualified persons to the President.
The President is then to nominate the chairperson and members of the National Land Commission and forward the names of the persons so selected to the National Assembly for approval within fourteen days of receipt of the names of successful applicants forwarded.
The National Assembly is to sit after receipt of the names of the applicants to vet and consider all the applicants and may approve or reject any or all of them within twenty-one days. Where the National Assembly approves of the nominees, the Speaker of the National Assembly is to forward the names of the approved nominees to the President for an appointment within seven days.
The President is to then by notice in the Gazette, appoint the chairperson and members of the Commission approved by the National Assembly within seven days of receipt of the approved nominees from the National Assembly. If the President does not appoint the chairperson or members of the Commission the approved nominees are to be taken to have been appointed upon the lapse of twenty-one days.
Where the National Assembly rejects any nomination, the Speaker is to within three days communicate its decision to the President and request the President to submit fresh nominations. Where a nominee is rejected by the National Assembly the President shall within seven days, submit to the National Assembly a fresh nomination from amongst the persons shortlisted.
In shortlisting, nominating, or appointing persons as chairperson and members of the Commission, the selection panel, the National Assembly and the President are to ensure that not more than two-thirds of the members are of the same gender. It is important to note that the selection panel may determine its own procedure and it stands dissolved upon the appointment of the chairperson and members of the National Land Commission.
Qualification for Appointment as Chairperson or Member of the National Land Commission
A person is qualified for appointment as the chairperson of the National Land Commission if they:
- Hold a degree from a university recognized in Kenya.
- Have knowledge and experience of at least fifteen years in matters relating to any of the following fields—
- Public administration.
- Land management and administration.
- Management of natural resources.
- Land adjudication and settlement.
- Land law, land survey, spatial planning or land economics social sciences.
- Meet the requirements of Chapter Six on Leadership and Integrity of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.
- Have had a distinguished career in their respective fields.
A person shall be qualified for appointment as a member of the Commission if the person
- Holds a degree from a university recognized in Kenya;
- Has knowledge and experience of at least ten years in matters relating to any of the following fields—
- public administration;
- land management and administration;
- management of natural resources;
- land adjudication and settlement;
- land law, land survey, spatial planning or land economics; or
- social sciences;
(c) Meets the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution; and
(d) Has had a distinguished career in their respective fields.
A person is not qualified for appointment as the chairperson or a member of the Commission if the person—
(a) Is a Member of Parliament or county assembly.
(b) Is an official of a governing body of a political party.
(c) Has at any time within the preceding five years, held or stood for election as a Member of Parliament, a county assembly, or as a governor.
(d) Is an undischarged bankrupt.
(e) Has been convicted of a felony.
(f) Has benefitted from, or facilitated an unlawful or irregular allocation, acquisition, or use of land or other public property.
(g) Has been removed from office for contravening the provisions of the Constitution or any other written law.
Vacancy in the Office of Chairperson or Member of the National Land Commission
The office of the chairperson or a member shall become vacant if the holder dies, by notice in writing addressed to the President, resigns from office, is convicted of a felony, is absent from three consecutive meetings of the Commission without justifiable cause, is removed from office under any of the circumstances specified in Article 251(1) of the Constitution, the term of office of the holder expires.
The President is to publish every resignation, vacancy, or termination in the Gazette within seven days of such resignation, vacancy or termination
Constitution of Kenya, 2010
National Land Commission Ac