Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua has attributed the withdrawal of the controversial Land Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023, to the influential role of Gen Z, describing them as the people’s authentic representatives.

The bill, which proposed an annual land levy for owners of freehold land within or close to urban areas, was met with significant opposition.

Freehold land, privately owned and not under government or community ownership, would have been subject to additional financial burdens beyond existing land rates.

Reacting to the withdrawal, Martha Karua took to X on July 1, 2024, stating, “The speed at which the majority leader @KIMANIICHUNGWAH withdrew the Land Amendment Bill confirms Gen Z as the people’s authentic representatives #OccupyEverywhere.”

National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah wrote to Speaker Moses Wetang’ula, requesting the bill’s withdrawal due to arising constitutional and legal issues.

Ichung’wah in a letter highlighted that the executive recommended addressing the aforementioned issues before any further consideration of the bill.

“Having consulted with the relevant stakeholders, this is to confirm that the majority party has withdrawn the bill. I request that the House Business Committee be notified of the withdrawal of the bill and that no further consideration of the bill should be undertaken,” Ichung’wah’s letter read.

Critics had labelled the bill as another attempt by the government to extract more revenue from overtaxed Kenyans to finance its budget.

The bill’s proposed amendments to the Land Act of 2012 would have imposed a new land rent on freehold landowners, raising concerns about potential property losses to the government.

Experts and the National Land Commission (NLC) warned that the bill amounted to double taxation and could lead to significant hardships for homeowners, particularly those on ancestral land near urban centres.

The proposal also sparked protests, with many Kenyans expressing their dissatisfaction.

The bill’s withdrawal coincides with the government’s retreat on the Finance Bill following countrywide protests.

The Land Laws (Amendment) Bill was scheduled for debate on June 18, 2024, but was shelved to prioritize the Finance Bill, which has also been withdrawn and awaits formalization by the National Assembly.

Karua’s remarks underscore the significant impact of Gen Z in shaping legislative decisions, reflecting a broader trend of youth-driven activism influencing national policy.

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