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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,6TH APRIL 2018-The law society of Kenya now wants the Lands ministry to shelve its ongoing process for digitisation of registries saying the system is highly likely to be prone to manipulation.
The lawyers have asked Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney to stop the process with immediate effect.
Karoney had announced the move to digitise the registry in a bid to improve services, increase transparency, and reduce fraud.
The Lands ministry closed the Nairobi and Central registries at Ardhi House for ten days from March 18 to clean up records and validate data.The move lawyers have opposed.In a letter on April5 to CS Karoney,they said the process is likely to undermine the integrity of land registry systems in Kenya and erode the sanctity of titles.
“We are concerned that the notice purports to enable transfer of property online,” LSK president Allen Gichui said.
“The system purports to enable the automatic processing of spousal consents, land control board consents and county consents in contravention of the law and contrary to established land world procedures worldwide.”
In her response, Karoney said the LSK has legitimate concerns “which we have and will continue to address as the issues emerge.”
“Our ultimate goal is to deliver service to our stakeholders in an efficient and effective manner,” the CS said via a tweet.
But according to Gichuhi it is only advocates who can prepare conveyancing instruments, hence denying them the exercise their legal practice is undermining their work.
The LSK president said that verification and certification execution of conveyancing instruments requires mandatory signatures of the parties. This is always observed so as to avoid fraudulent property transactions.
LSK has also raised concern over a pending court case on land forms and regulations saying it would amount to an illegality if the ministry goes ahead to use forms and titles as contemplated by the notice.
“We understand that the regulations are been reviewed by Parliament. It would be prudent to await the completion of the parliamentary process before purporting to use forms and titles as contemplated by the notice,” Gichuhi said.
LSK has given the ministry until Monday to reverse the exercise or face court.