Senate wants Karoney to explain closure of regional land registries
Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka
Senators have summoned Lands and Physical Planning Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney to appear before them to shed light over arbitrally closure of Central and Nairobi land registries.
This is after the Senate was petitioned by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) to intervene and undertake an investigation on annulment of the electronic land registration transaction regulations 2019 and the continued unlawful implementation of the Land Information Management System (LIMS).
In addition, she is expected to answer queries on poor administration of land registries countrywide, owing to the inadequate and poorly trained staff at the lands registry who ensure instruments are stamped with the correct value of stamp duty.
According to Kepsa, there are some cases where wrong stamp duty values are embossed on instruments.
“There is an unprecedented rise in the number of cases of misplacement of records at the Lands Registry due to lack of a file tracking system at the Lands Registry and automation of the A-Book,” Kepsa Chief Executive Officer Carole Karuga says in the petition.
“There is a huge challenge in getting access to registrars resulting in inefficient and slow resolution of issues and long transactional periods,” Karuga adds.
According to her, there are instances where the lands registrar requires the production of court proceedings in order to recognise court orders leading to delays in some transactions, which have already been settled by the court.
“Despite, all the efforts and constant engagement by Law Society of Kenya who are members of Kepsa, there seems to be unwillingness on the part of the Cabinet Secretary to work towards efficient and effective land administration and land administration processes,” Kepsa adds in its letter to Senator Mwangi Paul Githiomi, who chairs the Lands, Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
“The shutting down of the land registries has affected our overall ranking in the global ease of doing business index,” says Karuga.