Land-Tenure Reform in Kenya: The Limits of Law

Since Kenya became independent in 1963, the land adjudication programme has been implemented with great vigour. The programme clearly represents an ambitious piece of social engineering, resting, as it does, on the assumption that changes in the law necessarily produce changes in people’s behaviour. Aim of this article is to cast doubt on this assumption, and to use land adjudication in Kenya to illustrate the limits of law. First is examined what happened in two agricultural areas – in the Central Province among the Kikuyu (Gathinja sublocation), and in Nyanza among the Luo (East Kadianga sub-location), where individual titles were adjudicated and registered in the early 1960s, and then the experience is considered of two group ranches which were established in Narok District during the early 1970s. An attempt is made to use these case-studies to identify the kind of constraints that operate to limit the effectiveness of the landtenure reform. Notes.

Title: Land-Tenure Reform in Kenya: The Limits of Law
Author: Coldham, Simon F.R.
Year: 1979
Periodical: Journal of Modern African Studies
Volume: 17
Issue: 4
Period: October
Pages: 615-627
Language: English
Geographic term: Kenya
External link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/160742
Abstract: Since Kenya became independent in 1963, the land adjudication programme has been implemented with great vigour. The programme clearly represents an ambitious piece of social engineering, resting, as it does, on the assumption that changes in the law necessarily produce changes in people’s behaviour. Aim of this article is to cast doubt on this assumption, and to use land adjudication in Kenya to illustrate the limits of law. First is examined what happened in two agricultural areas – in the Central Province among the Kikuyu (Gathinja sublocation), and in Nyanza among the Luo (East Kadianga sub-location), where individual titles were adjudicated and registered in the early 1960s, and then the experience is considered of two group ranches which were established in Narok District during the early 1970s. An attempt is made to use these case-studies to identify the kind of constraints that operate to limit the effectiveness of the landtenure reform. Notes.