Taita Taveta County to sue over controversial community land bill

Taita Taveta County to sue over controversial community land bill

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Governor John Mruttu, Taita Taveta County.

Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu says his county government will go to court if the proposed community land bill is passed by Parliament without amendments.

Governor Mruttu said some clauses in the proposed land bill are unconstitutional and have to be rectified before taken to Parliament.

Pleading with members of Parliament especially those from the county and coastal region at large, to push for amendment of contentious clauses, Mruttu said the bill may have negative implication especially on his county residents who are currently experiencing land ownership problems.

We urge our national members of assembly to mobilize the house to amend the proposed land bill. But if they fail, then as a county will be forced to move to court so as to defend our constitutional rights” Mruttu stated .

The proposed land bill gives the national government more powers on community land , with Land cabinet secretary being in charge of community land.

Taita Taveta county’s community land comprises of 25% of group ranches and 62% of wildlife quarters respectively, thus making a total of 87%, according to Governor Mruttu.

This means that large amount of land will be under national government with only 13% running under the county government.

Mruttu added that the proposed land bill also undermines the constitutional mandate of the current National Land Commission.

“As we voted for new constitution, we saw need to introduce national land commission NLC to handle land issues, but now the proposed land bill limits the commission from performing  its constitutional mandate” said Mruttu.

This comes even as county activists and civil societies join in to reject the bill, and called for its amendment.