Kwanza Member of Parliament (MP) Ferdinand Wanyonyi has tabled a motion in parliament seeking to control the size of land that can be owned by Kenyans.
Speaking at the floor of the National Assembly on Wednesday, November 16, Wanyonyi proposed that the government should cap the minimum and maximum size of land owned privately.
He wants the government to enforce compliance of Article 68 (c) (i) of the Constitution, Section 159 of the Land Act, 2012 and the National Land Policy by publishing the rules and regulations for private land use and management.
An image of Kwanza MP Ferdinand Wanyonyi.
The National Assembly
“With high population growth and the demand for land have resulted in excessive fragmentation of land into uneconomic units.
“The population growth in Kenya is rapidly growing and we should increase food production to avoid famine and hunger that we are now experiencing,” Wanyonyi remarked.
On the other hand, the lawmaker argued that the government should be allowed to dictate how owners of large tracks of land utilise them arguing that no land should be left idle.
“The government should levy such and so that the owners pay tax on the land that is not being used,” he argued.
Furthermore, Wanyonyi’s motion proposes that public institutions such as national schools, and universities should not hold onto large tracks of land.
“We are saying that instead of expanding horizontally, they should do it vertically: they should build their buildings going up. The land left fallow should be used to do production,” he defended his motion.
The motion was seconded by his Endebess counterpart Robert Pukose who added that maximum utilization of land will not only guarantee food security.
Pukose added that the use of idle land will help to ease congestion in urban and semi-urban areas. The MP stated that more houses can be built on storeyed structures.
However, Kaiado Woman Representative Leah Sankaire protested the motion stating that the decision to render land useless because it was not being used for agriculture was misinformed.
Sankaire stated that it negates the cultural diversity of communities living in Kenya such as the pastoral communities.
“Livestock is our way of livelihood: we use cows to feed our families, build houses and school our children For you to feed one cow, you need six acres of land in one year. It is therefore wrong to imply that it is idle,” she stated.
A parcel of land in Kamulu, Kenya