NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – The Ministry of Lands has introduced a biometric access system at its offices to monitor those entering Ardhi House and reduce cartels operating there.
Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi states that the move is aimed at getting rid of land brokers who have made a illegal fortunes out of fraudulent deals.
Land owners have always complained of files disappearing and there are many pending court cases to deal with fraud.
“We have introduced what is called biometric access control cards and the reasons why we have them is principally to make sure that we know the people who come to this ministry and they do not move from floor to floor,” Kaimenyi said. “If they have to go somewhere they must move to a specific floor so that we get rid of brokers because they are many.”
The Lands CS indicated that cartels and land brokers have on many occasions colluded with the ministry staff to perpetuate the vice.
“We want to use this biometric access control card at our headquarters and eventually spread it to all our land registries again for the purpose of controlling these cartels because you know, we have a few cases of fraud again in collusion with some members of staff,” he stated.
Kaimenyi indicated that the cards will be floor-specific and if someone wants to use that card in another floor, it will not work.
He further stated that all the staff in the ministry will have identification cards, which will limit their access to documents exclusive to them.
The ministry is in the meantime set to amend the Valuers Act to streamline the operations of land valuers.
Kaimenyi stated that the current Act deals only with registration and not the monitoring of land valuers.
The CS indicated that are hundreds of illegal valuers yet only 380 are registered.
At the same time, Kaimenyi said his ministry has completed the digitization of 18 out of the 57 land registries in the country and indicated that remaining 39 will be done once funds are availed.