High Court yesterday stopped the Ministry of Lands from proceeding with a planned 3-week closure of the Nairobi registry for audit.

The Lands ministry had on February 19th made an advert in the local dailies to the effect that the government would shut down the Nairobi registries for three weeks to allow for audit.

The Law Society of Kenya had moved to court seeking an order to stop the ministry from carrying out the order on the premises that the exercise would possibly interfere with ongoing transactions in addition to a possible loss of documents.

In his ruling Justice Weldon Korir said, “Pending the hearing and determination of this application, a conservatory order is hereby issued restraining and staying the second and third respondent (Lands ministry) their agents, officers or any persons from closing the Nairobi and central registries at Ardhi House for auditing.”

The legal body, through its lawyer Duncan Anzala, told the court that the government institution had not consulted sufficiently with the parties likely to be affected by the process.

“Such a move will interfere with various contracts, where obligations of parties are tied to timelines,” he said.

LSK further wants the court to declare the closure of the registry without public participation unconstitutional and order for public participation in the process.

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