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Bishop Mwawasi on Supreme Court Ruling on Land & Voi Land Protests
Bishop Donald Mwawasi of Atlanta, GA who during his travel to Kenya five times in 2015 has held numerous discussions with the County Assembly Members and National Land Commission Commissioners on land use and management this year commenting on Land protests in Voi says, “The persons blocking the road should never have been doing this. It is time all constitutional office holders assigned to land management do the job assigned." The constitution assigns different roles to County Assembly, National Land Commission and Land Ministry.
Bishop Mwawasi adds, “I’m happy the Supreme Court gave the ruling on the National Land Commission role in public land leased out and the ministry role through the office of title registration of title deeds.”
On what should be done to ensure land protests do not occur again Bishop Mwawasi says, “I have already started the discussion that will lead to the Taita Taveta County Assembly passing a bill that legislates the management of county public land through constitution 185 (4) ‘A county assembly may receive and approve plans and policies for— (a) the management and exploitation of the county’s resources.’ I also want the County Governments to understand Kenya Constitution 62 that creates County public land. And Kenya constitution 68 that sets a constitutional review of all public land to establish legality and propriety.”
On what is the legality of 5,000 acres that led to protests Bishop Mwawasi says, “The land is County public land that was leased out for production purposes. It is currently not productive. The land legal status is currently per land act 2012, 12 (9) law, ‘Where the land allocated under subsection (8) is not developed in accordance with the terms and conditions stipulated in the lease, that land shall automatically revert back to the national or county government, as the case may be.’ The national land commission should be today holding this land on behalf of county residents awaiting a plan approved through 185 (4) that benefits the public.”
Bishop Mwawasi talking on Kenya constitution and blocking Mombasa - Nairobi highway says, “The Kenya constitution is not the problem. Understanding Kenya Constitution and ensuing it is upheld is what we should all do. I’m doing my part by opening the discussion and sending proposed laws to the County Assembly. The young men and women should not be disrupting an international road and affecting the global supply and production that this road services. If all lands meet legality and propriety constitutional requirements these young men will be thinking of what to do on the land or employed in plans implemented in the land.”
His advice to the 200 protesters, “The protesters should write to the County Assembly and National Land Commission and ask they do their job as per Kenya Constitution and laws passed. This land should today be held under Land Act Law, ‘12 (3) Subject to Article 65 of the Constitution, the Commission shall set aside land for investment purposes.’”
Bishop Mwawasi says that if all idle public land across the country that is County Public Land met legality and propriety per Kenya constitution 2010 the land would be facilitating meeting of Kenyans constitutional rights of food, housing, education and other rights.
He gives the example, “On May 2015 the Taita Taveta County Assembly approved a plan they received from the founders of Kenya University Project per Kenya Constitution 185 (4). The plan as set would benefit hundreds of county residents with their constitutional rights. The reason why these residents’ rights are denied is because of failure of implementation of Kenya Constitution 2010. I hope the Supreme Court ruling will enable County Governments, National Land Commission and Ministry do their roles in land management so land can benefit Kenyans and Kenya.
Pope Francis in Kenya speaking at Kangemi slums said, “This is what happens when we forget that ‘God gave the earth to the whole human race for the sustenance of all its members, without excluding or favouring anyone’.” Bishop Mwawasi on this remark and millions living in slums says, “I will continue working hard for Kenya constitution such that more slums do not emerge as population grows.”