Civil societies call for audit of land registries clean up

May 19, 2014 1:11 pm
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National Coordinator Odenda Lumumba alleged that the process was not free and fair as it did not involve the National Land Commission which, he says, represents the rights of the public/ANITA NDERU
National Coordinator Odenda Lumumba alleged that the process was not free and fair as it did not involve the National Land Commission which, he says, represents the rights of the public/ANITA NDERU
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19 -The Kenya Land Alliance on Monday demanded for an audit of the just concluded 10-day clean up exercise of the land registries undertaken by the Ministry of Lands.

National Coordinator Odenda Lumumba alleged that the process was not free and fair as it did not involve the National Land Commission which, he says, represents the rights of the public.

“We were told initially that they had discovered 10,000 files that had gone missing then they told us that they have discovered over one million files. I want us to use a simple analogy; all those files stacked together would fill a small store or an entire registry.”

“We beg to be accommodated to conduct an independent audit of the whole cleanup process that brought about the recovery of these files, if we do not have this audit then the question lingers as to where were these files initially? “

“Were these files really discovered?” Lumumba questioned.

READ Ardhi House shut to public for 10-day audit

He further called for the immediate investigation and arrest of those that were responsible for the missing files.

“Maybe something good is happening in the discovery of the files and we applaud it but we need to be told are there clerks in the land registry that are to blame for the missing files that have been recovered?”

“We were told that one woman was arrested after she was found trying to make away with files. She cannot be the only one to blame for the missing files, what of the others? Has anybody else been arrested for the missing files?” he added.

Ardhi House on Monday morning reopened its doors following the conclusion of the clean-up exercise of the Nairobi and Central registries by the Ministry of Lands under direction of the 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.

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