The Fora of Public Action in Kenya: The National Land Policy
Francesca Di Matteo, Mambo! XII(4), 2014, 4 p.
Francesca Di Matteo is a PhD student in the Socio-Anthropology of Public Action at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) of Marseille, under the supervision of Philippe Lavigne-Delville, Senior Researcher (Directeur de Recherche) at GRED/IRD
“We want a fair system of access to land for the future and justice for the wrongs of the past”. This is one of thirteen verbatims quoted in the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission’s (CKRC) first published report in 2002. The Commission was appointed in 2000 by President Daniel arap Moi. The struggle for constitutional reform in Kenya had actually begun in the late 1980s, pulling together individuals and organizations from different sectors of Kenyan society in reaction to the authoritarian nature of Moi’s regime. Owing to patronage construct of state land allocations, the land sector was indeed instrumental in building Moi’s authoritative power. The pressure exerted from below ultimately forced the executive into discussing structural reforms. Non-state actors in Kenya therefore played a critical role in propelling the restructuring of the state. In fact, without the determination of CSOs Kenya would probably have neither a National Land Policy (NLP) nor an entire chapter in the Constitution dedicated to land issues. The financial and moral support by international donors was, undeniably, a crucial factor in the scope and success of this mobilization.