History of Land in Kenya Part 1

According to the new constitution (Chapter 5 Sections 60 – 68), land is classified as community, public and private and clearly points out that all land in our country, Kenya, belongs to the Kenyan people collectively as a country, individuals and communities.

Public Land

This refers to the land that no community or individual ownership can be established. Roads, lakes, rivers, seabed, the continental shelf, land in between the low and high water marks, national parks, water catchment areas, roads, government animal sanctuaries also fall into this category. Public land in Kenya is held by the respective county governments for the people and assigned by the National Land Commission on their behalf. Other pieces of land will be held for the people by the national government and assigned by the National Land Commission on their behalf.

Community land

In Kenya, community land is held by communities on the basis of culture, ethnicity or some other similar interest. Community land comprises of land managed, held or used as community shines, grazing areas or community forests and land transferred to a specific community or registered in the name of group representatives. Land traditionally occupied by communities of hunters and gatherers and ancestral lands also fall into this category and are held as trust land by the respective county governments.

Private land

This consists of land under leasehold and freehold tenure by one or more people.

Non-citizens land

Any non-citizen in Kenya can only hold land on leasehold tenure which cannot exceed 99 years. For the land whose lease was beyond this for any individuals or multi-national companies will revert to a 99-year leasehold.

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