The Kajiado North land registry has been re-opened, four months after it was closed following claims of massive corruption.
The registry was closed on November 5, 2020 after officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Ethics and Anti – corruption Commission (EACC) raided the establishment following a public outcry.
Members of the public had complained severally of fraudulent transfer of title deeds, missing green cards and claimed they were forced to give bribes to receive services.
During the raid, four lands officials were arrested with several land documents and an unspecified amount of cash believed to have been bribes seized.
Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney said the closure of the registry was necessary to ensure that the corruption claims were fully investigated and measures put in place to prevent re-occurrence.
“I want to apologise to the public for the lengthy closure of our offices. But it was necessary for us to do so in order to organise the offices and root out the corruption. Papers and records were not properly organised leading to poor service delivery,” said the CS.
Karoney urged residents to understand their rights and avoid giving bribes in order to access government services adding this was the only way to weed out corruption.
She revealed that a new land registrar and 16 new officers had been posted to the registry with new facilities and a waiting bay built in order to ensure seamless delivery of services to the residents.
Five more surveyors were also posted to the registry to ensure residents access services without delays.
The CS further revealed that the Ministry was on course in digitizing the registry to enable people to access services on their personal gadgets at the touch of a button.
Kajiado Deputy Governor Martin Moshisho, who was also in attendance, condemned the incidents that were witnessed before and advised the new team to be careful.
“There were very many middle men and brokers who operated in these offices. Be warned we are watching; we will not entertain what we witnessed here before,” stated Moshisho.
He urged the new team to wear identification tags at all times to make it easier for the residents to identify them and avoid involving themselves in shady deals.
The deputy governor also called on locals to report those asking them for bribes whenever they sought services at the registry.
Residents of Ngong and its surroundings who had been forced to travel all the way to Nairobi and Kajiado land registries for the last four months in order to access services welcomed the re-opening.
Peter Mwangi, a resident of Ngong, said he hoped that service delivery would be efficient with the posting of the new officers.
“I am very happy. We have very many land disputes, many brought about by the previous team. We hope these new officials work fast and effectively. We hope corruption ended with the arrested group,” said Mwangi.
Another resident Mary Wanjiku, said the closure of the registry had affected land transactions and she was happy that services were back to normal.
by Rop Janet