Article Index


Community Land


The Constitution of Kenya 2010 has a second type of land classification and ownership known as Community Land; a 'Community' in this case, being a people with a common linguistic or cultural identity:

63. (1) Community land shall vest in and be held by communities identified on the basis of ethnicity, culture or similar community of interest.

Such communities have the constitutional and inalienable right to formal (or informal) association for their individual and collective benefit and voice under the Bill of Rights. Chapter 4 - The Bill of Rights, Part 2 - Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Article 44, excerpts:

44. (2) A person belonging to a cultural or linguistic community has the right, with other members of that community— (b) to form, join and maintain cultural and linguistic associations and other organs of civil society.

It is through such registered associations or community groupings complete with duly elected officials that communities will be able to assume lawful ownership of land:

63. (2) Community land consists of— (a) land lawfully registered in the name of group representatives under the provisions of any law; (b) land lawfully transferred to a specific community by any process of law;

Community land is unique in the sense that it will have a certain and valuable meaning derived over a lengthy history of use and control by the community.

(2) Community land consists of— (d) land that is— (i) lawfully held, managed or used by specific communities as community forests, grazing areas or shrines; (ii) ancestral lands and lands traditionally occupied by hunter-gatherer communities; .......

Under Kenya's new system of devolved governments, Community Land has taken on a new and significant meaning to the local communities within the counties in that, their own governments having accordingly been granted trust ownership over the land:

63. (2) Community land consists of—(d) land that is— (iii) lawfully held as trust land by the county governments, but not including any public land held in trust by the county government under Article 62 (2).


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