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Ngilu vows to resolve land disputes in Kenya

23 July 2014, 08:34 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Lands Cabinet Secretary, Charity Ngilu has said land ownership is the major challenge facing the country leading to witnessed cases of insecurity in some parts of the nation.

She said due to the ongoing digital transformation in her Ministry, she said she will ensure that the land problem is resolved with the issuance of title deeds.

“Land ownership is a major cause of current tension in the country. If citizens get title deeds, the current expenses incurred on security would be cut if the Lands Ministry is more empowered in its mandates,” Ngilu said when she appeared before the National Assembly’s Lands committee chaired by Tharaka MP, Alex Mwiru.

Ngilu stated that the ongoing transformation in the Ministry has bore fruit due to the increased annual revenue collection of over KES 11 billion in 2013/2014 financial year from KES 9 billion in 2012/2013, and cautioned that the process should not be reversed in future.

“Anybody doubting the work we are doing at the Lands Ministry doesn’t want to take this country where we want. The digitization process of documents we have made should not be reversed as we look forward to computerization process,” asserted Ngilu.

She reiterated that following the ongoing transformation, the application and processing of search document takes one day from the previous three days, land rent clearance certificate also takes one day from previous 19 days, property transfer consent takes two days from previous 9 days, and valuation report from stamp duty takes 3 days from previous 20 days while endorsing documents for stamp duty takes one day from previous four days, and lodging and registering documents takes four days from previous 12 days.

The Lands CS added that generally, the turn-around time in registration of property has been reduced from 73 days to 16 days.

Ngilu noted that the realized revenue collection increase is as a result of transparency in the service delivery especially through the outdoor registration exercise being conducted in tents erected at the Ministry’s grounds.

To fast-track service delivery to the public for national development, Ngilu requested the Lands committee to allow the Ministry gazette the proposed adaptation of Lease from for citizens to get their leases and grants in addition to hasten amendments to the land laws for harmonization of the sector’s operations.

“Since January 2014, the Ministry has been unable to process grants and leases. Currently there are over 1 700 grants and lease awaiting registration and we receive over 120 applications seeking registration and signing,” said Ngilu.

She alleged that the National Lands Commission (NLC) was purporting to sign grants and lease documents which are the Ministry’s constitutional mandate and that gazetting the forms will enable her to finalize the pending leases and grants.

Regarding the National Assembly Leader of Majority, Aden Duale’s directive asking the Lands CS to release names of land grabbers at the Coast due to rising insecurity in the region, Ngilu said she is working on the matter and soon the public will know the culprits.

“I am working on Duale’s directive of identifying land grabbers and soon I will call the media for briefing,” assured Ngilu.

She further said her Ministry is dealing with cartels that have been colluding with senior Land officials in processing and issuance of documents for personal gains.

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