The Central Organisation of Trade Unions, COTU (K) as the umbrella workers body in the country applauds the decision by President Uhuru Kenyatta to revoke title deeds for 500,000 acres, allegedly illegally acquired by 22 entities in Lamu County.
COTU (K) welcomes the timely move and supports the position the President has taken on illegal land matters in Lamu County and asks that the same action be extended to all counties in the republic where land has been illegally allocated.
Land is an emotive issue and as clearly spelt out in the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation Agenda Item 4 (four) for reforms that formed the creation of the Government of National Unity in the year 2008, which happened after the post-election violence of 2007-2008, It should be handled within the due process equitably taking into consideration the rights of the local population.
Countries such as the Republic of South Africa have an elaborate and clearly defined laws on distribution of land whereby its government reviewed and changed the redistribution and tenure process to a more decentralized system which has won a lot of support from its citizens and Kenya can borrow such an example to improve its management of land in the interest of the public. The Republic of Italy is another good example where land acquisition follows a rigorous due process.
As directed by the President the relevant Government machinery should move with speed and prosecute the Directors of the said companies so that it becomes a lesson to those bent on circumventing the law on land acquisition and their accomplices within the Government. As clearly and firmly shown/exhibited in the Lamu county case if this matter is not handled correctly we shall loose more lives of poor and hardworking citizens which is unfortunate for a country that has been independent for 50 years.
Francis Atwoli, EBS, MBS