Mobility, Marginality and Tenure Transformation in Kenya: Explorations of Community Property Rights in Law and Practice

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Celestine Nyamu Musembi and Patricia Kameri-Mbote



Community land rights were officially recognized for the first time in Kenya’s 2010 Constitution on the basis of ‘ethnicity, culture or similar community of interest’. It remains to be seen whether this will begin to reverse the trend of over-emphasis on individual tenure and sedentary agricultural land uses. Against this background, this article interrogates the various narratives around defining ‘community’ that have emerged in national and local discourses on entitlement to resources. The article draws on a case study of a Kenyan community – the Ogiek in the Rift Valley – in which tenure and land use are changing rapidly and where tension exists between individual and communal tenure, and among contending visions of future community land rights.


Keywords: land rights, tenure, community, land use, Rift Valley

Frequency of Publication: 
Abstract.pdf768.58 KB

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