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Survey unearths most corrupt land registries in Kenya

By Ally Jamah | October 15th 2014

NAIROBI, KENYA: A new survey of land registries has ranked Isiolo, Naivasha and Thika as the most corrupt while Bomet, Eldoret and Kitale were ranked as the least.

The survey released yesterday by the Land Development and Governance Institute (LDGI) ranked the registry at the Ministry of Lands headquarters in Ardhi House in 12th position out of the 40 registries surveyed. More than half (52 per cent) of Kenyans surveyed said that corruption is still high at land registries while 48 per cent said it was low.

In terms of timeliness in handling land transactions, registries in Wote, Eldoret and Kwale were ranked the best while Migori, Kakamega and Thika emerged the worst. Ardhi House emerged seventh and was ranked in the 'fair' category.

Regarding ease of accessing information, Wote, Kerugoya and Bomet emerged the top while Bungoma, Kakamega and Kilifi were ranked the worst. Ardhi House was ranked 'fair' and came a distant number 15.

The rankings are based on surveys of 1,024 Kenyans who frequently seek services at land registries across the country. It was conducted between August 25 and September 12.

The survey had sought to gauge the state of service delivery in land registries and determine the status and impact of implementation of land reforms. It also revealed that majority of Kenyans (71 per cent) feel the recent re-organisation of land registries has not improved services significantly. Those seeking services in registries in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kwale reported little improvement while majority of those in Kwale reported no improvement.


The re-organisation is being spearheaded by Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu and Principal Secretary Mariam El-Maawy.

At registries in Nairobi, 33 per cent said they have not felt any improvement while 25 per cent said the it was slight. In Mombasa, 47 per cent said they have not felt any improvement and in Kilifi, 80 per cent reported no improvement. However, those in Kwale Registry reported high improvement in services (55 per cent).

LDGI Chairman Ibrahim Mwathane said Kenyans interviewed are demanding urgent computerisation of land records and elimination of brokers from all registries to ease transactions. "Timeliness of transactions has improved from last year but are still not satisfactory due to lack of computerised records and intentional delays by ministry officials," he said. He called for a transparent process of the computerisation of records from tendering to execution.

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