Digitization

The ministry of lands’ digitization initiative has received a shot in the arm following the coronavirus pandemic. The ministry which has in the past months been faced opposition from resistant stakeholders has now found an advantage allowing it to proceed with the digitization efforts.

The government is now set to embrace greater digitization in the property markets after the reduction in physical operations.

Lands and Physical Planning Cabinet Secretary Faridah Karoney said digitization of property registration was one of the government’s reform agenda.

“Be it land or buildings we have to go online not for the sake of it, but for the common benefit of the sector. Simplicity in accessing the digitized sector should be the hallmark of the process,” she said.

The ministry already has a blueprint document of how the system should work, part of it requiring that admission of authorized users with verifiable administration passwords who will have ability to create, edit and delete file data.

Ms Karoney said the new system would enable real estate agents and dealers to transact online and interact with government agencies online including the authentication and registration of deals.

She said that using the new system, the government can issue occupier certificates, title deeds and other transaction documents online, which would also result in time and money savings for property stakeholders.

The CS said the system would eliminate the need for agents and brokers to carry our physical visits on the ground and to waste time on long queues in offices, adding that all property deals except surveying services can be done online.

“It is only that the stakeholders in this drive have not been enthusiastic, committed and willing to deal with this issue in favour of full digitization,” she said.

The ministry is working with the National Treasury to develop and implement the digital service delivery system since COVID-19 has proved the need to embrace technology.

“The government is keen on abolishing manual procedures for services that can be obtained online,” she said.

Lands Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri the country should have moved into the digital sphere of service provision 10 years ago but there has been opposition from certain quarters to keep the old system.

He also affirmed that all property transactions can be transacted exclusively on a digital platform from authenticating ownership to titling and remittance of rates. The e-transaction regulations were mooted in 2006.

Mr. Muraguri also said that moving the transactions online had the potential to further cut the time taken to effect property transfers from the current period of over 49 days.

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