DIGITIZATION OF THE LANDS AND COMPANIES REGISTRIES IN KENYA; A GOOD OR A BAD MOVE?

LAND REGISTRATION REGIMES IN KENYA

During the pre-colonization period in Kenya, land was communally owned and every community had its own practice on how to deal with it. Land was not a merely of production, it was beyond the physical aspect, it was almost spiritual; it defined and bound together social, spiritual relations and within and across generations[1].

Colonization and post colonization era brought about various land registration regimes in Kenya. This brought an end to communal ownership of land and the concept of individual ownership of land was embraced. Communal ownership Continue reading “DIGITIZATION OF THE LANDS AND COMPANIES REGISTRIES IN KENYA; A GOOD OR A BAD MOVE?”

GUARANTEES

A contract of guarantee is an undertaking to perform the promise or discharge the liability of a third person in case of his default. The person who gives the guarantee is called the “surety”, the person in respect of whose default the guarantee is given is called the “Principal-debtor” and the person to whom the guarantee is given is called the “creditor”.

In the case of Mwaniki Wa Ndegwa –Vs- National Bank Continue reading “GUARANTEES”

COURT OF APPEAL REAFFIRMS DEVOLVED ACCESS TO JUSTICE ALLOWING MAGISTRATES TO HEAR LAND AND EMPLOYMENT CASES

Jeremy Bentham, an 18th century English lawyer said, “The said truth is that it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.” The greatest unhappiness was occasioned to citizens and advocates when the high court sitting in Malindi on 11th November 2016 held that magistrates had no jurisdiction to hear land and employment matters. In January 2017, the Chief Justice publicly stated that the backlog of cases stood at about 490,000. Out of this number, it is possible that 70% of the cases relate to land and employment matters. How were 46 judges of the specialised courts expected to determine such a colossal backlog?

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How Accurate Are The Outstanding Land Rates Demanded By City Hall And Other Rating Authorities In Kenya?

It has been reported in the local dailies that City Hall has started a crackdown on land rate defaulters. The amount owed is alleged to be about Kshs. 60 Billion with the bulk comprising of accumulated penalties.

The Nairobi County Government has reportedly extended the exercise of rates recovery to the suburbs of Nairobi. The normal practice is to send a demand from a debt collector and if no payment is forthcoming, City Hall resorts to a unique self-help method of ‘’clamping’’ the building. Section 18 of the Rating Act allows the rating authority to recover rates from tenants and occupiers of any land on which rate was levied.

The rating authority is also permitted by law to file suit in the subordinate court after a proper statutory demand has been served. Once judgment has been entered, the decree holder [read: the rating authority] can execute the decree by, for instance, filing another suit in the High Court seeking the sale of the property by public auction. The High Court may then make an order directing the sale of the land subject to compliance of various terms. An account must be taken to verify the legality of the judgment amount.

The critical question that needs to be answered is how genuine are these demands?

Continue reading “How Accurate Are The Outstanding Land Rates Demanded By City Hall And Other Rating Authorities In Kenya?”

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Dynamics of Social Media

Social Media, and particularly Facebook and Twitter, has opened new frontiers for lawyers. Useful chat groups have been created where lawyers assist each other with precedents and case law and debate topical legal issues.

Some lawyers unconsciously devote more than an hour a day on social media chats or postings during office hours. This adversely affects productivity and begs the question- when does one work? On average social media addicts may spend between 30 to 60 hours per month on social media activities. In effect, some end up using 30 days in a year on social media. Now if you are in employment will you employer not notice this when productively is affected? During this time negative postings may psychologically affect your mood and ruin your day. Many firms now have a policy that no advocate should engage in social media activities during office hours as that affects productivity and creativity.

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How Kenyans Are Constantly Charged With Illegal Penalties- Time To Stand Up And Cry Out No More!

In 1690 the English philosopher John Locke posited that the fundamental constitutional principle is that the individual can do anything but that which is forbidden by law, while the state may do nothing but that which is authorised by law.

However in Kenya, public officers do the exact opposite and have engaged in burdening Kenyans with illegal fines emanating from defective charge sheets. They institute criminal prosecutions that are oppressive and an abuse of the court process. While all that happens the magistrate mechanically take the pleas without interrogating the validity of the charge sheet and the bewildered citizen is put through the conveyor belt of criminal injustice- charged, convicted and fined.

Did you know that Article 50 (2) (o) of the Constitution states that every accused person is entitled to the benefit of the least severe of the prescribed punishments for an offence?

Continue reading “How Kenyans Are Constantly Charged With Illegal Penalties- Time To Stand Up And Cry Out No More!”