NLC members sworn in amid uncertainty

Seven members of the National Land Commission (NLC) were sworn in on Friday amid uncertainty over the fate of two members whose nomination was nullified by the courts.

The seven members including Chairperson Gershom Otachi took over the mantle from the Muhammad Swazuri led team whose six-year term expired in February this year.

Otachi pledged to oversee reforms in the land sector even as he vowed to ensure land disputes are resolved objectively.

The commissioners are mandated to manage public land on behalf of the national and county governments, initiate investigations into present or historical land injustices, and recommend appropriate redress, and have oversight responsibilities over land use throughout the country.

Chief Justice David Maraga called on the new team to be firm and serve Kenyans with diligence while upholding the rule of law.

On Thursday, the appointment of Esther Murugi and Tiya Galgalo was nullified by the employment and labour relations court following a petition filed by activist Okiya Omtatah.

The court argued that the two had applied for the position of chair and had been shortlisted but ended up being appointed as members, a position they had not applied for.

Employment and Labour Relations judge Hellen Wasilwa said the vetting process by Parliament of the two was done in excess of parliamentary powers.

“It is my finding that nomination of the two as members of NLC was unconstitutional flouting principles of appointment in public service,” the judge said on Thursday.

Further, the National Assembly was faulted for vetting and approving Galgalo even after she failed to produce a tax compliance certificate.







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