Digitization of all Registries, Nairobi, Thursday 21st Sept 2017

The Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning has made yet another major step towards digitization in the automation of registration of document processes in its Registries.

In the last two years, the Ministry has embarked on the digitization of all Registries in the Country, so far 14 Registries have been completed while another 5 are currently ongoing out of a total of 58 Registries which are expected to be done by the end of next year.

In line with the Ministry’s objective of improving service delivery to the Citizen, the Ministry engaged the services of Government Digital Payments (GDP) to on-board Services on the eCitizen Portal www.ectizen.go.ke in order to achieve the Government’s desire to have all Government Services provided online. So far the Ministry has put two Services online; Land Rent (Query and Payment) and Land Searches (for the digitized Registries only).

Towards the journey of a complete paperless Ministry, the Lands PS, Dr. Nicholas Muraguri officiated the signing of an MOU between the Ministry and GDP, who are tasked with the responsibility of digitizing all Government Revenue through the eCitizen Portal. This will enable GDP to further facilitate the Ministry with a front-end application portal for use by Citizens in making Applications and Payments and a back-office processing system for the officers to verify, validate and approve those applications.

“This is a departure from the cumbersome manual processing which has been practiced at the Ministry for over 100 years and which has not only been lengthy and time consuming but has also inconvenienced Citizens when manual files are declared missing”, said Dr. Muraguri.

“This is a paradigm shift of great proportions and will improve the operations at the Ministry as well as improving the ease of doing business”, emphasized the lands PS.

Among the services targeted for online registration are; Transfer of Land, Transfer of Lease, Registration of Lase, Charge/Discharge and Subdivision.

The System will go live on 25th of September 2017 at the Nairobi Registry after which other Registries will follow progressively as the digitized data is verified and uploaded into the system.

GDP has been involved in digitizing client facing applications in other Ministerial Departments and Agencies (MDA), such as NTSA, Immigration Department, Business Registration Services, Department of Criminal Investigations as well as Mombasa, Nyeri and Kisumu Counties among others. In those MDAs, great achievements in service delivery through improved customer experience have been realized and Government Revenue greatly. This has also improved accountability and credibility of service delivery as the Citizens are able to trace the progress of their applications in real time.

Over the years, the services offered by the Ministry have been plagued with many challenges that will be addressed by automation as the Ministry continues to strive to improve its service delivery by completing the digitization of all Registries and on-boarding more services on the portal in its desire to eliminate fraud and improving accountability.

GDP Coordinator for Lands, Mr. Nick Wambugu signed the MOU for GDP. The ceremony was witnessed by a GDP Director, Mr. Joseph Mutai, Acting Lands Secretary, Mrs. Esther Ogega and the head of ICT at the Ministry Mr. Eric Mugo.

Joseph K. Mwangi

Head/Public Communications

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Ease of doing business at Sarova Panafric Hotel

A consultative meeting took place at Panafric Hotel on 2nd March, 2018 to chart ways of simplifying land registration processes in Kenya.

In her remarks, Lands CS, Ms Farida Karoney has called for speedy digitization of all land transactions in order to help lawyers/advocated to serve their clients better.

Participants in the daylong meeting include lawyers, bankers, property developers and top ministry officials.

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Ease of doing Business

Lands CS, Ms Farida Karoney and MoICT CS, Mr.Joe Mucheru were both at Ardhi house Monday for a critical meeting on e-Citizen operations Vis-a-vis Ease of doing business in the Land sector.

The meeting which was chaired by the Lands CS sought to establish ways of Digitizing the National Lands Management Information System. (NLIMS).

The ICT CS said he would provide support and collaborate with the ICT department in the Ministry of Lands to assist to enhance the entire process.

In attendance was also the Lands CAS, Mr. Gideon Mung’aro and the Lands PS, Dr. Nicholas Muraguri.

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New Lands CS Ms. Farida Karoney during her maiden tour of Ardhi House.

New Lands CS Ms. Farida Karoney  during her maiden tour of Ardhi House. (2)New lands CS, Ms Farida Karoney has made an extensive tour of Ardhi house Wednesday to familiarize herself with the various operations at the lands Ministry headquarters.

During the tour, the lands CS interacted with both members of staff and members of the Public. She said that there was an urgent need to digitize all land documents in order to improve service delivery and to also minimize cases of fraud.

Ms Karoney was conducted on the tour by top Ministry officials led by lands PS, Dr. Nicholas Muraguri. The lands CS was accompanied by the newly appointed CAS in the Ministry, Hon. Gideon Mung’aro

The new lands CS urged members of the public to report any cases of unethical behavior on the part of Ministry staff to her or other top officials in the Ministry.

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Civil Servants Housing Scheme Fund Nairobi, Wednesday 24th January 2018

Nairobi, Wednesday 24th January 2018

The Government is to fast track issuance of titles to all public servants who purchased houses from the Civil Servants Housing Scheme Fund (CSHSF) and who have completed the full purchase price, Lands PS, Dr. Nicholas Muraguri has said.

The Lands PS says in a Public notice that the ownership documents should be submitted on or before 9th February 2018 to the office of the Director of CSHSF at Ardhi house.

“To facilitate processing and issuance of the titles, the Civil Servants who qualify are required to submit, a certified copy of the Letter of offer, a certified copy of the duly signed and registered sale agreement and a clearance letter from CSHSF”, Says Dr. Muraguri.

CSHSF was initiated in 2004 where a total of about 2400 units were sold in Nairobi County.

“Less than 400 beneficiaries already have the titles and the government is committed to issue ownership documents to deserving civil servants.” Says Dr. Muraguri.

The lands PS expressed concern that a number of civil servants completed paying for their houses over 10 years ago but have no ownership documents to date.

“Without title deeds, the house owners’ cannot use property as collateral or security to borrow money from financial institution and there is urgent need to issue them with titles.” Said Dr. Muraguri.

In Nairobi County the estates targeted in the exercise include Ngara, Kibera High Rise, Shauri moyo, Kileleshwa, Kilimani and Jogoo Road.

CSHSF has initiated construction of Civil Servants houses in Kisumu, Kiambu, Machakos and Embu.

Other areas intended to begin construction of 1350 units by July this year is Garissa, Nyeri, Kisii, Murang’a, Kakamega, Nakuru, Eldoret and Meru.

The establishment of the fund is in line with the National Housing Policy for Kenya 2004 (Sessional Paper No. 3).

The policy among other things called for employers to facilitate their employees to acquire housing.

 

Fact File:-

 

The sale of government houses commenced in 2004 when 1082 non-strategic government houses in Nairobi were sold mainly to the occupants.

The government also constructed and sold to civil servants 843 houses, a shopping centre and a Nursery School in Nairobi.  These houses are located in Kilimani, Kileleshwa, Ngara and Jogoo Road.

315 Rental Units have been constructed in Shauri Moyo and Jogoo Road.

The Government is also constructing houses for sale in Kisumu, Machakos and Kiambu.

The houses under construction are as follows:

Town                    Total

Kisumu                   250

Machakos               200

Embu                     220

Kiambu                   200

Total                      870

 

Proposed Housing Projects

Construction of civil servants houses in Mombasa, Nakuru, Nyeri, Kakamega, Murang’a, Eldoret, Garissa, Kisii and Meru is to commence in July, 2018 and the total number of units is 1,350.

All the above housing units (4,145) require to have titles issued to the individual owners.

Since inception, the scheme has facilitated more than 3,000 civil servants to access housing.

This has been achieved through housing finance loans or sale of houses constructed through the Scheme.

To grant housing loans to Civil servants, the Scheme has partnered with two mortgage finance institutions, Home and Loan of KCB and Housing Finance, with nationwide coverage.

To date about 600 civil servants have been facilitated with loans to construct or purchase residential houses.

Some of the Challenges which have limited access to mortgage loans in the market are stringent lending terms including high qualifying incomes, high interest rates and short-term repayment periods.

 

Head/Public Communications Unit

Joseph K. Mwangi

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Extension of Lands Law, Nairobi, Thursday 1st February 2018

The Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning has been granted six months to give it ample time to seek Parliament’s input in crafting rules to facilitate regularization of title deeds issued since 2013.

An application made by the Lands ministry in December last year seeking extension of time to comply with the formulation of regulations and rules as earlier ruled by High Court judge Joseph Onguto was granted by the court in a ruling delivered by judge Chacha Mwita on 31st January 2018.

The court appreciated that the Ministry has done its part as earlier ruled by judge Joseph Onguto and it is only fair that time be extended to allow the input of parliament.

State Counsel, Charles Mutinda had earlier told the court that the government had initiated the process to correct the anomaly but was time constrained after parliament was dissolved ahead of the General Election.

In a judgment delivered in December 19, 2016, High Court judge Joseph Onguto found that the government had erred by excluding the NLC from land lease and title issuance processes.

The Constitution requires that the Ministry engages the National Land Commission (NLC) in issuance of all land ownership documents.

In his application in December, outgoing Lands Ministry CS Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi argued that going by the dates, the said Regulations and Rules had been published and forwarded to parliament, and further compounded by the current calendar of parliament which was about to proceed on recess, would not be possible to have the regulations and Rules given consideration in accordance to the Statutory Instruments Act, 2013 so as to beat the deadline of 19th December, 2017 set by the Court in its judgment.

“Going by the progress so far made in coming with comprehensive Regulations and Rules to operationalize the Land laws, in our humble view, demonstrates goodwill and obedience to the judgment and orders of the Court and that the efforts made should not thwarted and come to waste at the last minute but be supported by way of the Court extending the limited time of 366 days early ordered so as to allow the remainder process which in our estimation cannot last for more than additional 90 days”. Professor Kaimenyi had said.

JOSEPH K. MWANGI

HEAD PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS UNIT

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CS Handing over Nairobi, Friday 23rd, February 2018

New Lands and Physical Planning CS, Ms. Farida Karoney has said that she is under no illusion that together with the Ministry staff, she would meet expectations of the public.

“We are even ready to work at odd hours in order to deliver services to the people.” She said.

Ms. Karoney spoke when she took over the land docket from the immediate former lands CS, Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi at Ardhi house, Nairobi.

Ms. Farida promised radical changes, foremost being dismantling cartels that target public land.

“I am not worried about cartels. We shall make it if we all agree to serve the people with integrity,” She said.

The new Lands CS asked the National Land Commission (NLC) to put their past differences with the Ministry behind and work closely with it in order to deliver quality services to wananchi.

“If I step on your shoe let it not be blown out of context. We are all human so we shall collide at one time or the other. There are only a few issues on which we don’t agree so let’s look for solutions and’s focus on key priority areas.” She said.

In his remarks, his Prof Kaimenyi enumerated some of the achievements made at the ministry during his tenure as Cabinet Secretary.

Kaimenyi reported that the ministry managed to develop the National Spatial Plan which has put all resources under one roof.

“We also developed a National Land Use Policy meant to provide legal, administrative, institutional and technological frameworks for optimal utilization and production of land,” he said. “This is a key document which I wish you would launch in the shortest time possible.”

He said that the National Land Policy Use envisaged a situation where the Government holds or accumulate large stocks of land in various parts of the country for future use.

He said that National Land Value index bill is before parliament pending for approval.

“The bill will determine the cost of land in different parts of the country, in order to guide taxation on idle private arable land, leasing of idle Government land for commercial farming, agro-processing and manufacturing.” Said Prof. Kaimenyi.

He said this while emphasizing the protection of investors from fraud as costs rise when people learn of the government’s development plans in particular areas.

Kaimenyi said he also dissolved all land control boards and appointed new ones, as part of efforts to reform them.

The decision was made after it was established that most of the officials had served for too long and that there was male domination and lack of expertise.

He added: “They were earning a sitting allowance of Sh500 which we increased to Sh2, 500 and introduced a transport allowance. With this, we expect the boards to do better.”

Kaimenyi asked Karoney to map IDP camps so the people are effectively resettled as this is an expensive task that requires consolidation of efforts.

“Madam CS, you should endeavor to settle the squatters. If possible let them have their own title deeds. I know it is not easy but with the support of all the staff here all will be possible,” he told the new CS.

Kaimenyi also asked Karoney to ensure enforcement of the Community Land Act which covers how to manage community land and issue compensation for it.

On title deeds, he noted the Jubilee government had since 2013, issued 3.2 million land titles across the country as promised in their manifesto.

The former Minister said that there is “great need” to establish a land bank for investors to feel secure as speculators will be done eliminated.

He said that creation of strategic land bank will facilitate affordable housing, and curb speculation on land.

Head/Public Communications Unit                                                                      Joseph K. Mwangi

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