House committee rejects online land transactions law

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019 00:00 |
Uasin Gishu Woman Rep Gladys Boss Shollei, who chairs the delegated legislation committee. Photo/PD/FILE

The government has suffered a major blow after legislators rejected the land registration (electronic land transaction regulations) 2019.

The MPs, who sit in the delegated legislation committee, rejected the amendments that if passed, would have made all land transactions digital.

According to the committee chaired by Uasin Gishu Woman Rep Gladys Boss Shollei, the Ministry of Lands did not adequately consult with the National Land Commission (NLC), a move that is contrary to Article 259 (11) of the Constitution.

Regulations annulled

The regulations were prepared jointly by a taskforce comprising officials from the Land ministry and Law Society of Kenya (LSK). Reads the report: “Having examined the regulations against the Constitution, the Interpretations and General Provisions Act, the Land Registration Act and the Statutory Instruments Act, the committee recommends to the House the instrument be annulled in entirety.”

In its recommendations to the House, the  committee also called for the annulment of the regulations saying the regulation making authority failed to demonstrate that it conducted sufficient public participation in the development of the regulations contrary to provisions of the Statutory Instruments Act. 

According to the committee’s report, the regulations ought to have been subjected to public participation, as they are pertinent to the right to own land, protection of property and right of access to information.

The committee objected to the regulations saying they are giving the chief land registrar broad powers that are subject to abuse.

The ministry had announced in April it would discontinue manual transactions at both the Nairobi and Central registries, a move that saw lawyers obtain court orders to halt the move.

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