The Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has recommended for Parliament to dispose of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017 on grounds that the proposals fronted by Government can be taken care of through amendments in the Land Act.
A report signed by 27 members has revealed that there is no need for government to cause such amendments in the constitution.
The Bill tabled by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Kahinda Otafire was aimed at amending Article 26 of the Constitution to enable Government or a local authority to compulsorily acquire land for public use before proper compensation.
The Bill provides that government deposits with Court compensation awarded by the Government Chief Valuer which is under contention for any property declared for compulsory acquisition.
The Bill as well empowers government to take possession and make use of the disputed land provided the awarded compensation has been deposited with Court.
It also provided for Parliament to prescribe by law the time within which disputes arising out of compensation shall be resolved.
However, the Committee through their report squashed the proposal by the government noting that the needed amendments can be addressed by amending the Land Act rather than amending the constitution.
“The Bill does not introduce anything new warranting an amendment to the Constitution. In case there is need to prescribe the matters contained in the Bill, these can be inserted in the Land Acquisitions Act since they are more suited there in light of the above. The Committee recommends that the bill be rejected and is not read the second time,” the report read in part.