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End to queues as Nairobi land registry goes online

Land secretary Charity Ngilu has moved Nairobi Land registry to an online platform, enabling searches at the touch of a button as the ministry fights to win public confidence.

The public only need to log on to the website, create an account and key in details of the piece of land on a form that is then submitted online.

The ministry says a standard Sh520 search fee still applies as the system can only generate results after the payment is made.

Once the payment is made by mobile phone, debit or credit cards, the results which will remain in the user’s account can be printed out.

GRAFT

The system marks the end of the long queues and the graft-inspired opaqueness that Kenyans have come to associate the land ministry with.

Other transactions to be completed online include land rent payment and obtaining a land rent clearance certificate.

Digitisation of the central registry and records registry at Ardhi House is ongoing with the other 52 land registries across the country also lined up for the transformation.

Mrs Ngilu has indicated that digitising all land records will take three years, replacing the era of tattered land records and files that go missing with an easy storage and retrieval system.

Searches are key in land transactions providing details on the status of the piece of land including registered owner, size caveats imposed and any court orders on the land.

ELECTRONIC PAYMENT

The launch of the digital land registry for Nairobi comes as City Hall also shifts to electronic payment of development fees as part of broad efforts to have all the construction-related processes automated by the end of the year.

The county has extended the e-payment system, mostly associated with payment for parking fees, to developers and construction professionals saving them trips to City Hall to make manual payments.

“From today, you’ll be able to pay from the comfort of your office,” planning chief officer Rose Muema told architects last Thursday

“Once they pay, the system will automatically confirm that payment has been done so that they can move to the next level.”

Although building plans are submitted online, the invoice generated has previously had to be paid at the cash office. The receipt would then be scanned and uploaded to the system.

Accountants would then verify the payment but this has often been a point of delay as they are not always available.