Kenya’s Vision 2030 recognizes proper land administration and management as a springboard for development. The Vision outlines the establishment of a digital Land Information Management System (LIMS) as one of the remedies for proper land administration and management.
In Mid Term Plan 2012-2017 for the Land Sector, the ministry was to deliver a digital LIMS. However, we witnessed reorganization and digitization of some of the land documents in Nairobi registry.
An attempt to offer online land searches at the Nairobi registry was thwarted by a court order pending the hearing of a case of LSK vs the Ministry of Lands.
Currently, the LIMS in use is purely paper-based, disintegrated and not up to date. To explain just how the system is disjointed; a single land transfer process involves a paper trail in more than three different offices.
Let us say you are buying land in Busia-Kenya; you will search at the Land Registry, buy a map at another office- the Survey Office, and valuation for stamp duty at another office -the Valuation Office.
With digitization, one officer can initiate the transaction and follow it through to the end in the system. It will save citizens time and taxpayers money in terms of salaries paid to officers and purchasing of paper-based cumbersome equipment such as Kalamazoo and parcel files used to store documents in the registry.
The government loses Millions of shillings every day from the fragmented paper-based system through falsification of land values for stamp duty payment. Land values will be easily be retrieved with a geo-enabled digital system, through spatial analysis tools. Therefore, with the configuration, the system will flag such transactions.
Likewise, citizens lose Millions of Shillings daily to conmen working closely with rogue registry officials. Land searches at the land’s office are no longer trusted. No amount of due diligence guarantees a valid transaction.
Files and key registry documents such as green cards disappear and re-appear at will. A digital LIMS will keep an inventory of all the transactions and the officer(s) who initiated it. As such the system will be free from manipulation and easy for auditing for any malpractices.
A digital LIMS is no rocket science, and there is no need for reinventing the wheel. STDM developed by Global Land Tool Network of the UN-HABITAT is an opensource system that can be customized and be used by the country. What is needed is the government to provide a server, computers and create a local network for all the land offices — not forgetting, a review of the current land laws to provide for supporting of the digital LIMS.
A version of this article was first published in the Business Daily https://bit.ly/3ba3OaU on
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2019 18:38