Moment of truth for the National Land Commission

Next chairman has to rescue NLC from deep hole

In Summary

• Former KRA boss John Njiraini to be interviewed for NLC top job with 10 others.

• Former NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri is facing charges of fraudulent compensation.

Former NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri.
Former NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri.
Image: FILE

The immediate former Kenya Revenue Authority director-general John Njiraini has been shortlisted for the position of chairperson of the National Land Commission (see P7). He only left the KRA last month.

Another 10 distinguished Kenyans are on the shortlist.

The NLC chair fell vacant after Muhammad Swazuri’s term ended in February. The NLC under Swazuri was dysfunctional and chaotic.


Swazuri and 23 others are in court over alleged fraudulent compensation for land acquired for the Mombasa Southern Bypass and Kipevu New Highway Container Terminal link road in 2013.

This was not an isolated case. There have been multiple cases of underhand dealings involving the NLC in the last six years. Yet the 2010 Constitution created the NLC to manage public land effectively and resolve historic injustices. It has failed to do that.

The Selection Panel should remember this sorry history when it is conducting interviews. They should avoid political balancing and other expedient considerations when making their assessment. They should only ask whether a person is honest, competent and capable of rescuing NLC from the deep hole into which it has sunk.

Quote of the day: “If people are not laughing at your goals, your goals are too small.”

Azim Premji
The Indian billionaire was born on  July 24, 1945