EDITORIAL: Fulfil digitisation promise

Land Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Land Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The public clamour for proper records, efficient service and fraud control has made digitisation the buzzword at Ardhi House, the Ministry of Land headquarters.

Every minister who has served in the Land docket in the past decade has claimed having put digitisation at the heart of his or her reform agenda.

The most dramatic show of intent around this issue was the 10-day closure of the Land Registry in May 2014 to allow for an audit of land records. Charity Ngilu, the Cabinet Secretary for Land, said the closure was part of wider reforms, including digitisation of land records.

That reform process appeared to have either stalled or slowed down significantly along the way, prompting another 10-day closure beginning Monday.

It is tempting to cite the revolving-door appointments at Ardhi House that haven’t allowed ministers to last long enough in office to see their signature policies implemented as part of the problem.

Farida Karoney, the current Land minister, is the third person to serve in that docket in five years.

But the one reason bureaucracy exists is to shield public policy and service from such uncertainties brought about by political decisions.

Considering the costs of its inefficient and fraud-prone land administration system to the public, Ardhi House should digitise its land records once and for all.