- The Ministry of Lands has moved to assure Kenyans that the ongoing digitisation of Land registries is on course.
- The ministry said measure have been put in place to ensure continuity of land transactions even as the digitisation programme is being revamped and rolled out.
The Ministry of Lands has moved to assure Kenyans that the ongoing digitisation of Land registries is on course.
The ministry said measure have been put in place to ensure continuity of land transactions even as the digitisation programme is being revamped and rolled out.
In a statement, the ministry said the measures include continuing to accept manual registration where the properties have not been gazetted for conversion.
The ministry said it has also set up teams to handle specific issues like concluding pending transactions, validation of records and reorganisation of correspondence and deed files at geospatial data centre.
“The officers are expected to operate between strict timelines set for each activity,” the ministry said.
The ministry underscored the importance and centrality of the digitalisation programme in effective land reforms and in addressing governance challenges.
The digitalisation which started back in the year 2018, is a rigorous process which includes validation and manual verification of the records of all the departments from different state departments.
“This came from the background that for all the years we have operated from archaic manual records that have been generated; some torn out, missing and worn out,” the ministry said.
While responding to concerns from members of the public, the ministry said a number of things required to be put in place to lay a foundation for digitisation which included amendment of laws.
"Stakeholder engagement has been ongoing and many stakeholders were involved in review of the laws,” the ministry said in a robust response.
The ministry indicated that that during the stakeholder engagement, the Law Society of Kenya, NGOs and civil society were among the entities that were involved.
The digitisation process commenced with Nairobi and Central Registries.
There are two registries in the capital city including Nairobi Land Registry, handling properties previously under LRA .
There is also the Nairobi/Block Properties and Nairobi Central Registry handling properties
emanating from properties registered under RTA & GLA popularly known as white islands.
“The department under manual records had a lot of inefficiencies, fraud and no proper linkage between departments hence back and forth as regard information & communication,” the ministry said.
The Zachary Njeru ministry also acknowledged that during the exercise there has been inconveniences to the public land owners and business communities thereby creating an environment that is not conducive for doing business.
“However, during this period the Ministry endeavoured to address business continuity with digitization ongoing,” the ministry said.
Regarding the complaints raised by the LSK, the ministry said it is in receipt of a memo outlining five areas that the society want addressed.
They include Ardhisasa,Conversion, Geo –referencing / long term leases, appointment of Chief Land Registrar and the Land Control Board.
On the Ardhisasa, the National Land Information system, the ministry said it has made good progress in verification, scanning data capture and validation of the lands records.
“In Nairobi we have approximately 250 thousand registered parcels in addition to 70 thousand sectional units. Out of these, over a 100 thousand properties have been uploaded in the platform,” the ministry said.
The ministry said it has formed a team comprising of technical officers and system developers to audit and review the system functionality so as to address LSK's concerns.
About the digital signature, the ministry said the testing of the digital signature is currently ongoing which shall be followed by certification and authorisation to use.
“On the other side the Ardhisasa platform as currently is has put in place a temporary mechanism for authentication of the signatures,” the ministry said.
In order to address the issue of business continuity, the ministry said it has put in place a mechanism to accept registration of manual documents where the properties have not been gazetted for conversion.
“Teams have also been put in place to handle specific issues i.e. pending transactions, validation of the records, re-organisation of correspondence files and deed files at Geospatial Data Centre and timelines have also been set for each activity,” the ministry said.
On conversion, the ministry said a module was created on Ardhisasa platform to enable property owners make the applications for surrender online.
“The ministry acknowledges that there are challenges in cases where the data is incomplete and to address the issues arising there from the directorate has put in place a steering committee headed by heads of departments,” it said.
The ministry said that in respect to titles under the repealed RLA cap 300, all the parcels falling under Dagoretti registration sections have been gazetted for conversion.
“However, parcels falling under the Nairobi Block were not gazetted for conversion considering the fact that they were already compliant with the Land Registration Act and its Regulation thereof,” the ministry said.