The Land Value Act does not make provision for the valuation of communal land in a manner that reflects the social-economic practices of the drylands communities.
“Conservancies” in Kenya are presented as an example of conservation by and for local people, but they can be a device to grab land. Unless this changes, the future for wildlife conservation looks bleak.
The colonial powers that reside within the conservation sector often tout “alternative livelihoods” as key to the economic empowerment of pastoralist communities. But this flimsy window dressing barely hides the fraud within. Conservation interests have built a cauldron into which the extremely wealthy are pouring startling amounts of money to subvert systems, grab lands, and plunder resources.
Conservation is a principle; tourism is a business, so says leading conservation scholar Dr. Mordecai Ogada. The conservation politics are laden with racial hierarchies, lies, violence and misinformation used to subjugate locals in a bid to wrestle precious; and space from them in ways that upset human-wildlife coexistence.
The story of how the defunct Uplands Bacon factory lost its land to Farmers Choice is a sad case of how the Moi government was either unable or unwilling to protect lucrative subsectors of the economy. Now, despite an NLC order, Farmers Choice has refused to hand back the land to pig farmers in Kiambu County.
The members of Wildlife Utilization Task Force have attempted to facilitate the blatant colonization of our lands through wildlife management chicanery. Whether their respective roles were a deliberate conspiracy or unwitting, remains to be seen. However, we will never forget their names. We Kenyans deserve better and should never accept this shame they have visited upon us.
Proponents of wildlife conservancies in Northern Kenya argue that they provide a win-win situation for both conservation and pastoralist communities. However, the current push to establish more conservancies in the region may backfire and lead to more conflict.
The perpetual colonial project has miseducated us that conservation is about wildlife, while it is actually about our land, our heritage, our culture, our languages, our beliefs…it is about US.
As part of Isiolo County, the land in Biliqo-Bulesa is just a small proportion of the more than 60 per cent of the country where land adjudication has hardly started. So anyone with the financial muscle and the ability to command the backing of top political kingpins in the country can lay claim to vast tracts of land there and thereby disinherit communities, some of whom have inhabited the region since the 10th century.
A 2012 production by Xmedia, directed by Robby Bresson for Akiba Mashinani Trust. "MUKUHURU" follows the investigations of a group of disenfranchised youths from Kenya's second largest informal settlement (Mukuru) as they try to discover who owns the land that they have lived on all their lives. Through a series of critical interviews, the youths discover the historical, political, legal and social hurdles that stand in the way of land ownership and security of tenure for all landless in Kenya.
A public law model retrieves Kenyans’ hopes for a different and better way to manage and administer land as the commission enters its next phase.
As the theatre of the politics of succession leading to 2022 plays out in the expansive Rift Valley region, the spectre of the ever-simmering land question looms large.