Lands and Physical Planning Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney has said that Ardhisasa land management system is the silver bullet that will end perennial fraud that has for decades gripped the lands sector.
Speaking during a meeting with members of the Law Society of Kenya – Nairobi Branch, on Thursday, CS Karoney said the system will resolve cases of missing files, improve transparency and ensure efficiency in land administration and management.
The Cabinet Secretary refuted claims raised by a section of LSK members about the functionality of Ardhisasa, saying the challenges being experienced are not system-based but data-based.
“Ardhisasa is an excellent system; the challenge we have is the validity and completeness of data, stemming from decades of graft in the Ministry and improper storage of land records. There are cases where some title deeds have been allocated on road reserves and other categories of public land. We have also noticed that some files are missing and others have deteriorated with time making it difficult to ascertain ownership.
“This system is the only solution to these issues because it will ensure security of titles, proper storage of land records, and bring to an end illegal allocation of public land. While this technological shift may be painful, it is the only way to bring sanity in the lands sector.
“We have worked very hard to ensure we only upload data that is complete, valid, and has integrity on Ardhisasa; we will not turn back now and ingest data that is of questionable integrity into the system. All the data that is being ingested has to go through a rigorous validation process to ascertain its integrity,” she remarked.
Karoney disagreed with calls for the deployment of a hybrid system that adopts both manual and digital system saying the move would be retrogressive.
“We have been trying to develop a digital land management system for 26 years without success, and it is only now that we have succeeded. It would therefore be retrogressive to go back to the manual system because that would only ensure a continuation of the ills that have bedeviled the land sector for almost 60 years.
On the upgrading of LSK members’ accounts, CS Karoney said the delay being experienced has been occasioned by the downtime being experienced on the LSK website, adding that once their system is up, the registered members’ accounts on Ardhisasa will be upgraded.
To ensure quick resolution of emerging challenges that LSK members are facing while trying to navigate the system, CS Karoney called on the Ministry officials to conduct bi-weekly meetings with LSK and open all channels of communications.
She also encouraged the members to always contact Ardhisasa customer care agents when stuck, for prompt guidance and direction.
“We have a dynamic team of customer care agents who are available 24 hours a day to guide you through the Ardhisasa platform and ensure you successfully carry out your transactions. The desk will also generate a ticket for you in case you need to come to Ardhi House to have specific issues addressed,” she stated.
The meeting was also attended by the Ministry’s Chief Administrative Secretary Hon. Alex Mwiru, LSK Nairobi Branch chair Eric Theuri, among others.