Presentation on theme: "The Land Sector in Kenya has a low absorption rate of its budgetary allocations. This is why the Ministry’s call for increased budgetary allocations is."— Presentation transcript:
The Land Sector in Kenya has a low absorption rate of its budgetary allocations. This is why the Ministry’s call for increased budgetary allocations is never honored by treasury. The second issue is lack of proper legal framework for public participation. Under-collection of AIA by the Ministry Challenge for members of the public to access disaggregated information on Land Sector in Kenya. This is a barrier to engaging in public debates on this sector.
Kenya is predominantly agro-based economy, land is arguably one of the most important natural resources. In this respect, Kenya has adopted critical land reforms aimed at improving land governance and reducing land related conflicts. However the implementation of land reforms faces risks due to lack of clarity of roles between NLC and MOLHUD and the ensuing confusion thereof. For instance according to the 2014/15 budget both institutions share similar output of issuing title deeds with separate budgetary allocations. It is necessary that the endless conversation of who is in charge of what is adressed urgently to forestall disruption of land reforms.
Double allocation and overlapping functions between MOLHUD and NLC for instance both share a similar output of issuing title deeds, that means both institutions get funding for similar functions. It is important that the matter of who is in charge of what is addressed. A key target during the 2014/15 budget for land reforms is the enactment of 4 land legislations. However the targeted legislations for enactment have not been named and identified making it hard for monitoring purposes.
The problem is that Kenyan government has not shown its support for this sector through substantial budgetary allocations. The financial resources allocated are inadequate as compared to the sector requirements as highlighted in the annual MTEF reports for Agriculture and Rural Development Sector.
Enhanced budgetary allocations have been confirmed. Until 2010/11 allocations for land policy formulations were only confined in the recurrent expenditures amounting only to 16 million a year development was allocated nothing. The allocations have been increasing significantly over the years and for FY 2014/15 land policy and planning have an allocation of 5 Billion(this is a stand alone allocation from the overall MOLHUD budget). That said three quarters of this vote head go to hospitality supplies-an indication of possibility of many meetings workshops etc while the second largest consumer of the budget goes to stationery supplies.
Whereas most of the budgetary allocation comes from the Government of Kenya, the programme receives direct grants from donors. For instance FY 2013/14 to 2015/2016- SIDA has allocated 50 Million and there is no explanation as to what the grant is targeted at, however it is assumed it supports digitization of land records at the ministry. This gives a lot of space for double allocation of funds for the same projects thus some critical projects for land reform are not adequately allocated for.
The NLC budget has progressively grown from 2012/13 where the budgetary allocation stood at 125 million to 652,338,149 million in 2014/15. The paltry allocation to NLC has resulted to major hindrance in land reforms. This has costed the country a lot in terms of investment and development opportunities. Kenya’s ranking in ease of doing business dropped from 122 in 2013 to 129 in 2014(out of 189 countries). The country is currently ranked 12 in sub-sahara Africa compared to Rwanda which is at number 2 and 32 worldwide. One of the factors to this is the time and finances required to sub divide land or get a title deed this is despite high budgetary allocations with no improvement in service delivery.
Although the costing for land reforms was comprehensively and professionally carried out in 2005, there is urgent need to carry out comprehensive review of that costing in view of the fundamental changes brought in the land sector through the constitution. The initial costing done in 2005 was based on a framework that has been substantially changed by constitution and land laws. E.g Land Dispute tribunal replaced by ELC under the judiciary. The proposed review will avail to the Government accurate basis for funds allocation towards comprehensive land reforms.
There are many factors that obstruct public participation in the budget making process. The national budget making process is considered to be a complex and technical process. Its language and form is quite hard for ordinary people to fully understand. As a result of this some members of parliament are left behind when it comes to budget debates. The second problem is that, the estimates are highly aggregated and technical in nature.
In land matters, there is no information on the size of land to be acquired, the location and who are the beneficiaries. This is what makes oversight by parliamentarians a very difficult job. Lack of a legal framework on public participation is a barrier to public debate on BPS. With the advent of Constitution 2010, now BPS are readily available on the National Treasury website through they are highly aggregated and are not up-dated when changes are made.
Draft Eviction and Resettlement Bill Community Land Bill Spatial Planning Bill Registration of 495,650 title deeds countrywide Completion of Digital Mapping Environment and Land Court Act 2011 National Land Commission Act 2012 Land Act, 2012 Land Legislation Act of 2012 NLP
NLC and MOLHUD should reconcile their differences and mandates clearly laid out. Duplicity of functions has a ripple effect to bloated finances with little outcomes to show for it. Operationalization of land laws 2012 require the use of public resources which do not have adequate allocations thus still hazy to date. At present registration of titles still use the previous regimes. Increase capacity building of personnel, digitalization of all land related information and provision of infrastructure will help improve funds uptake.
The NLC should fasten access to electronic data through National Land Information Management System (NLIMS). The Constitution and PFM Act, 2012 provide new opportunities for citizens to participate in the budget process which makes this an opportune time for citizens to engage in the budget process specifically on financing for land issues. This notwithstanding the absence of an enabling legal framework to effect public participation. The agenda of extractives is catching up fast and if not paid attention in terms of financing it could worsen the land reform agenda
The CLB should not just be rushed to be legislated but also be adequately funded to operationalize it. If this is not done this will be another useless paper document. The repeated nature of audit queries in the MOLHUD in terms of under expenditure, unvouched expenditure, under collection of A-I- A, presenting incorrect accounts for audit should be dealt with under the PFM Act, 2012 which specifies sanctions for super rogue ministries and departments.
However implementation of PAC and PIC recommendations arising from audit reports for action in parliament are usually lost in ensuing political debates. There is urgent need for rethinking the whole arrangement of dealing with audit reports and recommendations apart from traditional PAC and PIC methods.