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New exercise to ensure no loss of ownership upon land conversion

By Alvin Mwangi
Wednesday, January 13th, 2021
Lands Chief Administrative Secretary Gideon Mung’aro.
In summary

Genuine landowners have a reason to smile after the Ministry of Lands yesterday announced there will be no loss of ownership upon land conversion.

Speaking yesterday, Lands Chief Administrative Secretary Gideon Mung’aro said the new exercise was in line with the ministry’s target to bring sanity in the land sector.

“There will be no change in existing freehold and leasehold tenure. The new regulations provide the legal framework for setting up of the consolidated registration system,” said Mung’aro.

With regards to pending cases in court, Law Society of Kenya chairman Nairobi branch Eric Theuri, said the ministry was consulting stakeholders and will communicate in due course.

“We want to consult so that no one will end up losing their title needs in this new process,” he said.

Lands Registration Act was enacted in 2012 following the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution.

Despite the Act having unified land registration regimes, transitional clauses have been relied on to maintain the status quo.

Once a notice is published in print and broadcast media, landowners will be expected to make applications for replacement of title documents from closed registers.

The application shall be accompanied by the original title deed and the owner’s identification documents.

Registrar will replace the old title deeds with new ones.

The ministry further noted that title deed held by third parties including banks, hospitals and courts as collateral would be replaced upon application by the proprietor.

Importantly, the conversion process will see preparation of cadastral maps and a conversion list indicating new and old numbers for parcels of land within a registration unit and their corresponding acreages.

Cadastral maps will then be published in the Kenya Gazette and two daily newspapers.

Any person with interest in land registration will be able to lodge a complaint with the registrar, who shall resolve the same within 90 days of receipt.

Lands management has been a thorny issue for decades due to association with corruption and fraud.