TURF WARS, GRAFT

NLC will review systems to redeem dented image - acting CEO

Tache says the agency is training staff to change the culture and improve services

In Summary

• The former commissioners' six-year term ended on February 19 and new officials have not been picked.

• The NLC is looking for ways to ensure building of the SGR proceeds uninterrupted even as a probe continues. 

Former National Land Cmmission chairman Muhammad Swazuri.
Former National Land Cmmission chairman Muhammad Swazuri.
Image: FILE

The National Land Commission will review its systems to seal loopholes that have given the agency a bad name, acting CEO Kabale Tache has said.

She said yesterday they will focus on valuation, land administration, legal issues and records.

Tache spoke at Kenya School of Monetary studies where she presided over a two- day training for directors, deputy directors and county coordinators. NLC staff from the 47 counties are being trained on leadership, ethics and integrity.

She said the training is aimed at redeeming the commission's image, changing the culture and improving services. 

The commission's image has been soiled by turf wars, infighting and corruption allegations. Former chairman Muhammad Swazuri is facing corruption charges. His team's six-year term ended on February 19 and new officials have not been picked.

Tache said the NLC has been linked to graft, but that may not be the true position. "The training is meant to instil professionalism in staff and also built a cohesive team," she said.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission director Lucy Kinuthia is expected to take the NLC staff through leadership, ethics and integrity training.

Tache said former commissioners had approved several road and dam projects that are going on smoothly. However, she said building of some sections of the standard gauge railway have been stopped to pave the way for investigations.

"We separate policy and managerial matters.  We may not handle policy matters but the management of the commission is running smoothly," she said.

Tache said they hope President Uhuru Kenyatta will nominate new commissioners  soon.

Together with the Ministry of Lands, Tache said the NLC is looking for ways to ensure construction of the SGR proceeds uninterrupted even as a probe by the concerned agencies continues. 

"This is a flagship project. We want to continue with the project and also allow investigative agencies such as the EACC and the Director of Public Prosecutions to carry on with investigations," she said.

The NLC manages public land on behalf of the national and county governments. Tache said the commission has given advisories on the national land policy formulation framework.

"We have also handed over the comprehensive framework of registration of titles throughout Kenya," she said.

Tache said the commission faces a number of challenges including understaffing, lack of space, inadequate transport and funds. She said they are engaging the Treasury for more funding.

"We have requested Sh128 million... we have been making that request since 2016 and it is our prayer they are going to get it. Once we receive the cash, it is going to ease some of the challenges,"she said.

Tache said the commission will work with the EACC, the office of DPP and the DCI as well as the Parliamentary Committee on Lands to end corruption in the land sector.

Edited by Pamela Wanambisi