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Ministry bets on biometric system to fight land cartels


The ministry of lands has introduced a biometric access system to monitor persons accessing Ardhi House.

Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi says the system will be able to monitor activities and offices being visited by all persons in a bid to get rid of cartels and land brokers.

‘We want to get rid of cartels and land brokers by introducing biometric access cards. If a person is seeking services here at Ardhi House, we will be able to monitor who comes in and out. And we can detect those who are coming here frequently and probe the nature of their visit,” Prof Kaimenyi said.

Kenyans and land owners have often complained of files disappearing from the lands docket with several cases both criminal and civil having been instituted in courts over land fraud.

Most parcels of land whose lease have either expired or is nearing expiry have been targeted while idle land whose owners are absent have not been spared either.

The CS said the technology is among several strategies his ministry has put in place to ensure cases of land fraud are reduced.

He said some of the reported cases include the cartels and land brokers who collude with lands ministry staff to perpetrate the vice.

Speaking at his office during a ceremony to present a state commendation to dentist Dr. Pankaj Patel, Prof Kaimenyi said the Valuers Act will be amended to streamline regulation of land valuers.

“The current Act focus on registration but does not address the issue of monitoring the profession for land valuers,” he said.

The CS said there are hundreds of illegal valuers operating in the country yet only 380 are registered.

At the same time, CS Kaimenyi said his ministry has completed digitisation of 18 out of the 57 land registries in the country. The remaining 39 will be done once funds are availed.

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