LSK backs Lands Ministry digitization after Ardhi House meeting

April 7, 2018 12:57 pm
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Arthi House convened the consultative forum after LSK President Allen Gichuhi on Thursday threatened to move to court if the digitization of land records that commenced on April 3 was not stopped/COURTESY

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 7 – The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has endorsed the implementation of the Lands Information Management System (LIMS) following a meeting with Lands Cabinet Secretary Faridah Karoney on Friday.

Ardhi House convened the consultative forum after LSK President Allen Gichuhi on Thursday threatened to move to court if the digitization of land records that commenced on April 3 was not stopped.

Gichuhi had cited the exclusion of lawyers in crucial land processing procedures embedded in the newly launched electronic system – LIMS.

He, however, rescinded his stance after the meeting during which the ministry agreed to form a joint committee with LSK to develop guidelines for the online transaction of land.

“LSK is keen on ensuring that the process is done consultatively and properly to ensure effectiveness and ease of use,” Gichuhi stated.

According to Karoney, the ministry was yet to actualize electronic signatures which she said required an amendment to existing laws.

“The Stamp Duty Act says the documents have to be stamped and embosses a seal which is what the LSK had a problem with,” the CS said on Friday.

“What we’re doing now is that when we get to the stamping stage we retrieve the physical land document and stamp it but in future, we’ll have to amend the law to provide for electronic signatures,” she explained.

Karoney was quick to point out that the only level of consent available on LIMS was by officials at the ministry adding that all other consents were being executed in a manner they had been previously.

Lands Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri clarified Friday that the services available on the electronic platform were application of registration, issuance of consent transfer/charge/lease, payment of land rent and issuance of land rent clearance certificate, payment of stamp duty, registration fees, consent fees, and application for official searches in the Nairobi and Central registries.

He assured that the conveyance and security instruments such as transfers, charges, and discharges will continue to be executed in accordance with the law.

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