NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18 – The Lands Ministry says it’s registry at Ardhi House will resume operations on Monday after more than one million files were retrieved following a two-week audit ordered by Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu.
Speaking after a tour of the premises on Sunday, Ngilu pointed out that cases of lost files, double allocation and land fraud will be a thing of the past after the ministry embarked a digitisation exercise which she stated is due to be completed within the next three years.
She further revealed that the closure of the registry of Nairobi enabled the ministry to address the issue of lost files, misplaced files and pending files that have been lying around the registry for a long time.
“The achievements that we have made in the last 10 days include retrieving 1,322,800 files and records. We have now a very clear record of our files in the following registries. Nairobi registry 134,000 files, Central registry 188,000 files, records registry 1,064,480. We have also revamped our website to include search forms, consent forms and valuations forms,” she said.
She emphasised that records will be easily accessible thus enabling ministry officials to be fast and efficient. READ: Uhuru in impromptu Ardhi House visit, backs Ngilu.
“We have also reorganised all the registries for our officers to be able to access data easily and serve us better. We have reorganised our lands directorate for ease of doing business. We have set up offices on the ground floor where senior officers can come and serve the people when they come in here,” she said.
Ngilu also said that the re-organisation will ensure that files are secure and accessible only by authorised staff.
“The services that will be offered immediately we open tomorrow is the first consent for renewal of leases before processing by the National Lands Commission. We have set up three hotlines in the Central Registry where our clients can access information. We are in the process of procuring a bulk SMS system that will enable us communicate with our clients better,” she stated.
“We have procured two consultancies to develop software to prepare for the digitisation of all our files. The registries will open its doors tomorrow on the 19th of May at 8am as promised. We will then guide our clients through the approach that the ministry has adopted.”
She stated that CCTV cameras have also been installed in all the registries and that for one to access the records, they will need to have biometric identification in a bid to ensure that no document is compromised.
The Lands Secretary had been accused of violating the law by shutting the ministry offices for the audit of land registers. READ: We’ve found 10,000 missing files—Ngilu.
Ngilu had given notice that the registry would be closed for 14 working days to allow the ministry officials track down missing files, which she said had been diverted by powerful cartels at Ardhi House.
She had expressed her determination to eradicate corruption at the Ministry of Lands.