Treasury CS Ukur Yatani has boosted President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election pledge to issue titled deeds with a Sh1.5 billion allocating for processing and registration of the documents.
Further, Mr Yatani set aside Sh600 million for digitisation of land registries, a move expected to speed up the processing and issuance of title deeds and a further Sh105 million for the construction of land registries.
Since 2013, President Kenyatta has issued thousands of title deeds to residents especially in the Coastal region, which has been experiencing squatter problems since independence.
Last year, Mr Kenyatta expressed satisfaction that over 5 million title deeds have been issued to Kenyans since his administration came to office in 2013.
“I am happy because gradually we are fulfilling the promise we made to the people of Kenya. We are solving the land question by issuing title deeds so that Kenyans can put their land to productive use without fear of losing their property,” the President said on November 3, when he issued 10,000 title deeds to residents of Samburu County in Nairobi.
Besides individual landowners and group ranches, President Kenyatta promised to issue title deeds for community land in the largely pastoral county and across the country so as to address disputes arising from its use.
“In order to improve access to land as a factor for development, we have stepped up investment in the sector and rolled out ambitious national programme of Land Titling and digitisation of land records,” Mr Yatani said in his budget statement.
The digitisation of land records in Nairobi Registry started in 2014 with an aim of having all the records stored in a document management system (DMS).
The aim was to facilitate electronic document archival, access and retrieval in a secure, verifiable, transparent and timely manner, according to the Ministry.
The digitisation is meant to weed out double allocations of land, overlaps, among other ills that have plagued the registry, at the click of the bottom.
The ministry has always argued that the process is an internal administrative process which seeks to imbue a culture of efficiency, accountability and transparency in the administrative process of land administration and management.
Two years ago, the ministry indicated that Kenya was exploring ways of moving its land registry to a block chain platform- a ledger of digital transactions that make records secure and easily verifiable.
The initiative, according to the ministry, is aimed at eliminating graft at the land registries and also allows more people to secure their land rights.