Factors that led to the development of multi-party democracy in Kenya after 1991
International pressure from multilateral and bilateral donors. The western donors took advantage of the collapse of the Soviet Union to set the stringiest conditionalities for aid on the government, for democratic reforms.
Disunity in KANU. There was pressure from individuals who had been expelled from KANU without political alternatives.
Existence of people who were ready to push democratic agenda ahead. This included the civil society, the lawyers and intellectuals. E.g the Law Society of Kenya led by Paul Muite and Gitobu Imanyara put pressure on the government for reforms.
Success of multi-party in other African countries. In Zambia for example, Chiluba’s Movement for Multiparty Democracy defeated Kaunda’s United National Independence Party.
Pressure from the church. Several church leaders, among them Alexander Muge, Bishop Henry Okullu and Rev. Timothy Njoya called upon the government to create an en environment in which Kenyans could participate in governance.
Massive rigging of the elections. The most notorious of all was the 1988 general elections, which were marred with widespread rigging.
The developments in Eastern Europe. Due to Gorbachev’s liberal reforms, one party dictatorship in Eastern Europe was replaced by regimes that were more liberal.
Rampant corruption in particular, embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds and grabbing of public assets. Those who criticized were punished through detention, arbitrary arrests and other forms of intimidation. i) Repeal of section 2A of the constitution in December 1991
Role played by political parties in government and national building in Kenya.
The party that gunners majority of seats and votes forms the government either alone or in coalition with other parties.
Political parties influence government affairs and development through participation in legislation process.
Political parties through the elected members of parliament decide on national development policies and development projects.
Political parties provide exemplary leadership founded on freedom , justice, fair play and African socialism.
Opposition parties provide a system of scrutinizing government expenditure through public accounts committee and public investment committee.
Opposition parties make the government more accountable to the people through constant criticism.
Opposition parties provide checks and balances to abuse and misuse of powers and privileges by those in the government.
Challenges of multi-party democracy in Kenya
Since many politicians and senior government officials were not ready for Multipartism, they often incited their supporters to kick out opposition supporters from certain regions. This has been common in the Rift Valley region.
The executive arm and the ruling party have many a times misused the members of the civil service to frustrate the opposition. In case of flawed elections, the provincial administration has always been used in rigging.
Many of the parties formed failed to attain a national outlook. They mainly were tribal based.
The multi party democracy has been hampered with defection of greedy politicians who become preys to bribes. This has weakened some parties.
The former KANU for a long time retained control of the government machinery,,(the police force, the radio and television.) these were utilized for the advantage of KANU for al long time.
There has been a problem of lack of funding from the government. Most of the political parties have been unable to sustain competition for political power due to inadequate funds.
Interference by the international community in the running of the country. Some members of the diplomatic community openly side with certain political parties.
Many political parties have been embroiled in wrangles. For example the Orange Democratic Movement has been bedevilled with a number of desertions due to wrangles between Ruto and his supporters and Raila Odinga. Ford Kenya has split into New Ford Kenya and Ford Kenya due to wrangles between Eugene Wamalwa and Moses Wetangula.
Stagnation of investment in the first years of independence due to massive transfer of capital from the country by the white settlers. The government faced the challenge of cultivating investor confidence.
The problem of landlessness among many Africans whose arable land had been alienated. There was an urgent need for redistribution.
Serious economic disparity in the country with the former white highlands having adequate provision of water, electricity and roads while the rest lacked enough of the same.
Overpopulation in urban areas as result of rural-urban migration, putting facilities under pressure and creating unemployment.
Problem of control of economy by the Europeans prior to independence and after independence. E.g. farm ownership and key industries.
Lack of qualified manpower to run the technical sectors of the economy.
These were issues that were addressed by session paper number 10 of 1965.
Types of landholding in Kenya.
Land tenure refers to the terms and conditions under which land is acquired, used or transferred
At independence the type of landholding in Kenya was mainly communal, where land belonged to the whole community. Access to land was open every member of a social group. Community elders, clan heads or kings were empowered to control and give advice on land use.
Land alienation during the colonial period transformed land into a commodity that could be disinherited from an individual. Such colonial land policies leading to alienation of African land resulted in the following;
Widespread landlessness as Africans lost ancestral lands.
Reduction in land available to Africans leading to land pressure as population increased.
Deterioration of the quality of land due to fragmentation.
Overstocking because of limited land, leading to soil erosion.
Displacement of pastoral and agricultural communities, leading to problems such as famine and livestock diseases.
Disintegration of social and cultural institutions in the reserves due to ethnic boundaries being fixed, thus separating African communities.
The Mau Mau wars which were a consequent of the bitterness arising from land alienation resulted in a number of land reforms under the Swynnerton Plan of 1954. The plan put in place a programmee for land consolidation, adjudication and registration. This was what the Kenya government inherited at independence.
Land Adjudication: - verification of individual or group rights to land within a given area.
Land consolidation: - merging of fragmented land into single economic units.
Land registration: - recording of rights to land and the consequent issuance of a title deed.
The post-colonial landholding system in Kenya.
The land tenure system in Kenya after independence was categorized as private or modern, communal or customary, public or state and open access Private land; comprised of 6% of the total land area
Government-owned; former crown land, comprised 20% of the land area. It included the national parks, government or public forests, alienated (land acquired from customary land owners by government for own use or private development) and un alienated land (land that has not been leased or allocated by the government).
Trust land comprised 64% of the total land area as at 1990. This comprised the former native areas and was awaiting small holder registration to transform it into private tenure system.
Land ownership in Kenya has been a source of bitter conflict as manifested in the post election violence after the 2007 elections. The historical injustices in Kenya have always been related to land.
In 2010, land ownership in Kenya was classified as follows under the new constitution.
a) Public land
Public land is the land held by the central or local government.
It consists of;
Land not set aside for any purpose (unalienated land).
Land set aside for public utility use or land that is occupied by the State organ as lessee.
land transferred to the State by way of sale, reversion or surrender;
Land to which no individual or community ownership is traceable.
Land which no heir can be identified.
All minerals and mineral ores.
government forests, game reserves, water catchment areas, national parks, government animal sanctuaries, and specially protected areas;
All roads and thoroughfares.
All rivers, lakes and other water bodies.
The territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone and the sea bed.
The continental shelf.
All land between the high and low water marks.
Any other land declared to be public land by an Act of Parliament.
Community land is land which is implied as owned by a group of people on the basis of customary norms, not through formal registration. It consists of:
Land registered in the name of group representatives.
Land transferred to a specific community through a legal process.
Any other land declared to be community land by an Act of Parliament.
land that is held, managed or used by specific communities as community forests, grazing areas or shrines;
Ancestral lands and lands traditionally occupied by hunter gatherer communities;
Land held as trust land by the county governments, but not including any public land held in trust by the county government.
Private land is land (and houses and buildings) held under registered entitlement (freehold or leasehold). It consists of:
Registered land held by any person under freehold tenure.
Land held by any person under leasehold tenure.
Any other land declared private land under an Act of Parliament.
Landholding by non-citizens is allowed only through lease for a period not exceeding ninety-nine years.
A corporate body, for the purpose of land ownership can only be recognized as a citizen if it is wholly owned by one or more citizens.
Property held in trust will only be recognized as being held by a citizen if all the beneficial interest of the trust is held by the persons who are citizens.
Land policies since independence
Two type of programme that characterized land reforms exercise that commenced in 1963 in Kenya were;
Transfer of land from European large scale farmers to Africans.
Land consolidation and registration in which the government purchased several farms from the Europeans and sub-divided them among African holders.
In the former European farms, the government established settlement schemes as follows;
The Million Acre Scheme which was began in 1963 and involved settling African families on 13.5 hectares each.
The Harambee Scheme started in 1969, involved settling families on 16.25 hectares each.
The Haraka Scheme where squatters were settled in small plots of land in Central, Coast, Eastern and Rift Valley Provinces.
Shirika Scheme started in 1971 to settle the landless and unemployed on the former European lands. Under this scheme, the individual farmers would own a small plot each while the rest of the farm would be managed by a cooperative. This scheme did not succeed since people wished to have their own pieces of land.
However, these schemes failed to adequately solve the problems of landlessness in the country. A few politically-connected people acquired large tracts of land, most of which remained underutilized. Some of the schemes are located in areas of harsh climatic conditions and are unviable without irrigation.
Several commissions have addressed land issues in Kenya. For example, in 2001, President Moi appointed the Njonjo Commission to investigate the main problems of land ownership and distribution in Kenya. In 2003, the NARC government set up the
Ndung’u Commission on land. Its Recommendations are yet to be implemented.
By 1983, 29 districts in Kenya had benefitted from Land adjudication and registration, a process which began in the 1950s in Central Kenya then spread to other parts of the country after 1963.
Benefits of the land reforms in Kenya
Farmers could use their land title deeds to get loans from banks in order to expand farming on their land.
Land titles enabled people to purchase land with confidence. No one would alienate them from their land.
The reforms enabled thousands of landless people to own land.
Dairy and cash crop production increased.
Land ownership by non-citizens
A non-citizen can only own land in the country on the basis of leasehold tenure not exceeding 99 years.
Principles that govern utilization of land in Kenya
Equitable access to land. All members of the society must have equal access to land since it is an important resource.
Transparent and cost effective administration of land. State institutions should be given powers and responsibilities of ensuring transparent and accountable administration of land.
Elimination of gender discrimination. in line with protection of human rights, for all, discrimination against women on issues of land ownership and access to land need be eliminated.
Sustainable and productive management of land resources. Since land is an economic resource, it should be managed well to ensure maximum productivity.
Sound conservation and protection of ecologically sensitive areas. Conservation measures like prohibiting settlement and agricultural activities in water catchment areas and zoning of forest lands to protect them from further degradation.
Encouragement of communities to settle land disputes. This should happen as long as they are consistent with the constitution.
Ways in which the Kenya government has solved land related problems since independence.
The problems related to Communal Land ownership have been solved through land demarcation and adjudication by the government. This saw the conversion from traditional system of land ownership to modern freeload tenure.
Landlessness was solved through creation of resettlement schemes. Large-scale farms and former European farms were divided into smaller ones and given to the landless. E.g Mwea Tebere, Bura, Shirika etc.
The government has put marginal lands to more productive use through establishment of irrigation schemes and drainage schemes.
The government removed restriction of movements from the reserves that were created by the colonial government. This decongested the reserves and gave chance to arable farming.
At independence, the t government embarked on land consolidation policy through which scattered plots were put into one holding.
The government also embarked on land reclamation measure to bring previously unused land to productive use.
The Government has established the National Land Commission which manages public land
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