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Lands Registries to be treated as critical infrastructure

The Department of Lands and Physical Planning offices across the country will from now onwards be treated as critical infrastructure that should be given enhanced security.

Principal Secretary (PS) for Lands and Physical Planning Mr. Nixon Korir said that he has written to his Internal Security counterpart Mr. Raymond Omollo to make arrangements to enhance the security of all land registries.

“I have written to my Internal Security counterpart to treat land registries across the 47 counties as critical infrastructure that requires 24-hour security surveillance,” said Korir. The PS spoke after he toured the Kwale lands registry and held a meeting with the staff of the department.

He instructed Department of Lands and Physical Planning County Coordinators to urgently liaise with their respective County Commissioners to arrange for enhanced security of lands registries.

At the Kwale Lands Registry, the PS found land documents stacked and squeezed on top of each other up to the roof.

He said it is crucial for all Ministry of Lands offices to be housed in spacious and secure premises, especially after the incident in which the land offices at Awasi in Nyando sub county of Kisumu was razed to the ground by fierce inferno.

“I have seen the condition of your offices and you do not have to explain it to me. It is not your fault but it is the fault of the previous regime,” said the PS. He said the national government will soon come up with a model office that will be replicated in all the counties.

The PS also held a meeting with the Kwale Deputy Governor (DG) Chirema Kombo where he said that the national government will work closely with the devolved government in resolving land issues.

Kombo and the County Lands Executive Committee Member Saumu Beja requested the Lands PS to help the county in clearing hurdles in acquiring titles for some particular pieces of land that are required for public projects.

Kombo said the county had offered the previous building that was used by the County Assembly to be used by the Department of Lands and Physical Planning until the Government builds new premises.

Korir said he was ready to support the coastal county to take immediate action on resolving issues related to a piece of public land which the county wants to donate to Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) to set up a research center.

He also said that Kwale lands county officers will be given training in digitization of land documents in readiness for the process to digitize title deeds and other vital land documents.

The PS’s meeting in Kwale comes a day after he held a meeting with Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir where they agreed to create a partnership in digitizing land documents for Mombasa County.

By Hussein Abdullahi and Mary Alouch

 

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