Somali elders from Isiolo County have rejected proposals to have community land being registered in the name of particular tribes residing in the registration areas.
Led by their council of elders Chairman Abdulkadir Shariff, they argued that registration of the land in tribal names would not augur well with the minority communities since the move was likely to benefit only the predominant ethnic groups.
There are some communities that are demanding that the community land be registered in the name of the Sub-County or the ward units while others want it done by the name of the majority ethnic group living in the registration area.
Mr. Shariff said that different community elders have been having secret meetings to strategize on how to have the land registered, adding that most of them had sinister plans against other tribes which should be stopped before implementation of the land registration program.
The elders said that they would petition the Lands Cabinet Secretary Faridah Karoney, the National Land Commission, and the County Assembly of Isiolo to ensure that all groups of people living in the County are protected from those who have individual or tribal interests.
They said they would go to court saying every resident, regardless of his tribe, has the right to own land anywhere in the country according to the Constitution of Kenya.
They warned that the proposal to register land at the Ward level and which is supported by the majority of the MCAs was likely to be a source of chaos because each of the 10 Wards in the County has a particular predominant community that could end up displacing the minority groups.
“If the title deed is issued in the name of the respective predominant community or Ward name, the minority groups could be edged out of the others hence becoming a recipe for chaos,” said Mr. Shariff.
He said the minority group members want the land to be registered as per the Sub-County level name in order to accommodate all Kenyans from other parts of the country regardless of their ethnic background.
The elders said Isiolo has three Sub-Counties and therefore the land could easily be named as Isiolo Central, Merti, and Garbutulla Sub-County community land units.
The vice-chairman of the Somalis Mr. Osman Bidu, however, noted that they were not against the community land registration but are opposed to the use of tribal names in the community land ownership documents which could threaten security.
According to Article 63 of the Constitution, the community land should be registered in the name of the community identified and a register of members of the community established as the user of the land.
And the land registration act, 2012, suggests that the Land Commission in consultation with the national and county governments can constitute an area or areas of land to be a land registration unit and may at any time divide it into registration sections identified by distinctive names.