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Land registry automation is still work in progress

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President Uhuru Kenyatta’s quest to automate land transactions will remain work in progress as the year ends after a taskforce looking into the issue had its term extended to February 2, 2019. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s quest to automate land transactions will remain work in progress as the year ends after a taskforce looking into the issue had its term extended to February 2, 2019.

The Taskforce on Electronic Land Transactions, Registration, Conveyancing and other related activities is collecting views from the public ahead of full activation of a digital land transaction process—ranging from search, sale to transfer of ownership documents.

The taskforce seeks a middle ground on activation of the Land Information Management System (Lims) that lawyers have opposed citing exclusion (disruption) of their prominent role in land transactions.

Mr Kenyatta is looking to the successful conclusion of the process to allow Lims’ activation especially after World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report identified land transfer challenges as a major impediment to investors injecting funds into various projects in Kenya.

“Our brothers and sisters in the legal fraternity should be supportive of this (reform) agenda. Do not look at it from a selfish agenda but look it from what it means to improve our business environment, attracting investments and increasing the volume of business,” Mr Kenyatta said.

Kenya improved 19 places to stand at position 61 thanks to efforts made to protect minority investors and digitisation of the tax declaration system that reduced time spent on filing tax returns.

But the land transfer process to registration of property, which on average takes 49 days, gave Kenya the lowest rating at 55.97 per cent to stand at position 122 out of 190.

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