The Ministry of Lands is in the limelight after the Senate launched investigations into arbitrary closures and claims of poor administration of land registries.
The Senate Lands committee has swung into action following a petition by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) on shutdowns and poor service in land offices.
Kepsa CEO Carole Kariuki said the arbitrary closures reportedly to allow for audits and digitization of records, coupled with inadequacies at the registries, are hurting business. There is also a risk of documents being tampered with, she said.
The ministry has been closing registries to digitise and audit records that are said to have been tampered with by wayward officials over the years.
Kariuki said inadequate and poorly trained staff and lack of a file tracking system, have complicated matters.
“Due to inadequate and poorly trained staff at the lands registry, there are some cases where wrong stamp duty values are embossed on instruments,” Kariuki said.
Cases of misplaced files are also on the rise owing to lack of a tracking system, the CEO said.
Kepsa further faulted the continued implementation of the Land Information Management System despite the annulment of the Land Registration (Electronic Land Transactions) Regulations 2019 by both Parliament and the High Court.
“That following the annulment of the regulations, the ministry has continued to unlawfully implement the Land Information Management System without the proper statutory backing,” Kariuki said.
(Source: The Star Newspaper in Kenya)