NAIROBI, Kenya, May 26 – The Lands Development and Governance Institute (LDGI) has emphasised the need to harmonise points of service at the Ministry of Lands to eliminate bureaucracy.
This follows the release of a report which has revealed that there are long transaction turnaround times at the registries which result in poor access to services.
Executive Director Mwenda Makathimo indicated that the current situation enhances corruption as it prompts many to use brokers to get services required.
“The points of service at the various institutions are crowded and too many. They are also so scattered and there is need for harmony. It is time to ask ourselves, can’t we have a one-stop shop? Other countries have done it. Why do we have to have a myriad of all these institutions? At least we should have only two. Why do we have all these? Can’t we apply our resources better?” he stated.
He observed that many Kenyans have not interacted with Land Control Boards seeking for consent to transfer or subdivide land.
“The monitoring of the performance of the Land Control Board is the function of the Cabinet Secretary for Lands and I do not see why he cannot gazette or seek for the membership of the Land Control Boards across all the counties and even go as far as gazetting their fees,” he said.
He explained that Land Control Boards were established by the Land Control Act of 1967 for purposes of controlling transactions on agricultural lands.
He stated that the Act defines agricultural land, as land that is not a township under the repealed Township Act, a trading centre under the Trading Centres Act, and land within Nairobi or the Municipality of Mombasa that it is declared agricultural land by a minister.
“One main challenge that affected citizens when dealing with LCBs was that of the boards not having adequate resources to carry out their mandate. For example, citizens suggested that LCBs should avail maps when meeting with members of the public as opposed to being directed to obtain maps when engaging the control boards, thereby prolonging the turnaround time for transactions,” he said.
He suggested the need to increase resources allocated to Land Control Boards to improve their service delivery.
Makathimo was speaking during the release of the country’s land reforms scorecard on Tuesday where he further pointed out that many Kenyans were also not aware of the existence of the County Land Management Boards which brought services closer to them at the county level.
He stressed the need for the Senate and National Assembly to streamline the current institutional framework in land administration and management through clear provisions in law and regulations.
He stated that this will go a long way in ensuring well-coordinated implementation of reforms in the land sector.
“Parliament, National Assembly and Senate have to re-look the statutes forming these institutions. It is their duty to legislate for efficiency in the Lands Sector. This is homework for the committee on Lands and the National Assembly. This is the output that is expected from them. The sorts of amendments that are required are the ones that will streamline the institutional framework,” he said.
Makathimo underscored the importance of Kenyans familiarizing themselves with the land management institutes across the country and holding them to account.