conflict over interpretation of law

Two state entities overseeing Kenyan land administration fight over their respective rights, duties

Two Kenyan state entities are not seeing eye to eye about how crucial land issues should be handled. The National Land Commission and the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning both claim that tasks where they should be in charge, are wrongly being carried out by the other entity. Not even a supreme court advisory opinion has resolved the problem, and each continues to interpret that opinion in a way that favours its own interests, escalating conflict between them. There are also now two ‘live’ petitions that ask for judicial help in solving the disputes.

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Perhaps Kenyans are used to it, but it comes as something of a shock for outsiders to discover different parts of government involved in nasty turf wars and jockeying for power against each other.

In this case it is the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning squaring off against the National Land Commission (NLC). A decision on the dispute between them was delivered by the high court in 2018, and the matter then went on appeal.

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