Members of the National Assembly revoked the laws introduced by the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning to have land transactions done online.
The Ministry of Lands had earlier thought to bring to an end manual registry and, therefore, developed new regulations that would enable Kenyans to extract, retrieve or access documents online and put up a notice concerning the transition on 4th April 2019.
Members of the National Assembly, led by the National Assembly’s Committee on Delegated Legislation chairperson Gladys Shollei have, however, annulled the law saying that they found it to be against the constitution.
The committee argued that there was no proof that the Ministry of Lands had conducted public participation as required by law when it was coming up with the regulations.
“Pursuant to section 15(1) of the Statutory Instruments Act…and having considered the Land Registration (Electronic Land Transactions) Regulations 2019 against the Constitution, the General Interpretations Act, Land Registration Act, and Statutory Instruments Act, the committee recommends that the House annuls in its entirety the said statutory instrument for the aforesaid reasons,” said Hon. Shollei.
The move by the Ministry of Lands to digitize land transaction services was also fought by lawyers through their professional body, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), who termed the move illegal.
Manual registry of the property would initially require the input of lawyers, who would charge for the service, which is why they obtained a court order stopping the ministry from proceeding with the changes.
According to the LSK, there were fears that the digitization of the property registry would mean that documents are prepared by people who have no educational background in law, and that the regulations to enable electronic conveyancing were still pending in parliament.
The online transaction regulations outlined the procedure of transaction, including the creation of an account, alternative measures for when electronic registration was not possible and security measures in place in case of cases of fraud.
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