Land acquisition in Kenya
Land is an important aspect of the life of any society. It is essential for food production and security, supports important biological resources and processes, sustains the livelihoods of the majority of Kenyans and constitutes an important cultural heritage for many communities. Land should therefore be managed in a way that recognizes its many attributes. In legal perspective, it is very important to define certain words that may ordinarily be taken for granted such as land. The land laws in Kenya define land as the soil and any structure that is permanently affixed to the soil. Going by this definition therefore, a permanent structure on the soil is part of the land on which it stands. The predominant system of land ownership in Kenya is fashioned on the Australian Torren model. This model was adopted at independence in order to secure the proprietary interests of white setters who then owned most of Kenya’s arable land. The registration and ownership of land was consolidated into Registered Land Act (RLA). This piece of legislation gives the registered proprietor of land an absolute and indefeasible title by virtue of the issuance of the title deeds. Land in Kenya has been categorized into various categories to include: private land, public land, group ranches and trust land. Land acquisition by citizens as private property
The land laws in Kenya are very clear on the process of land ownership by citizen to make it private land. The following are some of the ways in which land can be acquired by citizens, as provided by the constitution of Kenya: By way of sale:
A person owning a freehold or leasehold interest in a given piece of land may sell it to another person for a particular sum of money (compensation) and the person will acquire the said interest as their own and have it declare as private property. The sale of land in Kenya is rigorous process that stipulates the following: At the point of sale, it is essential for the parties to the land to enter into a written sale agreement spelling out all the terms of the transaction including the purchase price and mode of payment. If the land being traded is agricultural land then the parties can now apply for consent from the respective land control board. This is done through filling a prescribed form that can be obtained from the lands office and submitted in triplicate. Once the consent has been made, given the parties will proceed to fulfilling the other parts of the sales agreement before the actual transfer of the land. This is also done by obtaining forms from the lands office and return them duly signed in the presence of an advocate. Registration of the new owner then follows and the subsequent issuance of a title deed. By way of Inheritance
Land can be acquired through inheritance if a person who owns a freehold or leasehold interest in a given piece of land dies having stated in his or her will that the said piece of land be taken by a person he names. Upon his/her death, the name’s person acquires the deceased interest in the said land. This is governed under the Law of Succession Act. By way of grant
A citizen may acquire public land, thus declaring it private land, if the president or the commissioner of lands makes a rant of freehold or leasehold interest on public land to the individual. This private citizen then becomes the rightful owner of such land upon registration. By way of Auction
If a person has mortgaged his/her interest in land to a bank or financial institution in return for a loan and fails to repay the loan, the bank may sale the land to any member of the public through auction. The person who buys this interest in land then becomes the rightful owner of the land thus making it private property. By way of gift
Land may also be given to an individual as a gift. This form of land acquisition is recognized by law. This happens when the owner of an interest land freely...