Section 28 of the Communal Land Reform Act (CLRA) of 2002 stipulate that any person who, before the commencement of the act held a right to occupy communal land for subsistence farming or residence purpose ( Customary land use) must apply for recognition and registration of such rights. This article therefore explains the procedures that ought to be followed in the recognition and registration of such rights on communal land.
Completion an application form
People who held a customary land right before 1st march 2003 (when the CLRA came into force) MUST apply for recognition and registration of the rights. (FORM 3). Such application had to be made by March 2009.
Documents to accompany (support) the application
The application for recognition and registration of a customary land right must be supported by any documents that proves that the applicant has a use right to the land applied for e.g. letter from the Chief or Tradition Authority (TA), letter from community member(s) supporting the claim to the land or any other documents/information.
Consideration of the application by the land board
The applicant submits the completed application to the Board Secretary. The Secretary will check that all required information that may be requires by the board to considering the application, the Board may make investigations to establish the following:
- When/how the right was acquired
- Whether any person has a claim to the same land
- Whether the size conforms to 20 ha.
- Boundaries of the land.
Displaying the application on the notice board
The Board may display particulars of the application on a notice board for bout 7 days. This is done to invite community members who may have objection. The board may hold ahearing in acase a community member(s) objects to the application. At the hearing, both the applicant and the objector(s) will be invited.
Recognition (approval) or referring the application to TA
After thorough consideration of the matter (application), the board will either:
- Recognize the right to the land and register the right
- Grant the application right to another alternate land or to the existing one but with changes,if there conflicting claims to the land in question.
- Refer the matter to the TA to consider the application as a new one.
Registration of existing rights
Once the Land Board has recognized an existing right, all information pertaining to such existing right must be entered into the register. The applicant is then issued with a certificate of registration.