PS Nixon Korir says Ardhi House reforms bearing fruit, warns cartels

Lands and Physical Planning PS Nixon Korir (right). [File, Standard]

Lands and Physical Planning Principal Secretary Nixon Korir has warned cartels against frustrating ongoing reforms at the ministry.

The PS said reforms, including resolving pending issues with the Ardhisasa platform, fighting land cartels through collaboration with the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and improving service provision through revamping of customer service desks are aimed at enhancing performance. 

Mr Korir spoke against the backdrop of a renewed pushback against transfers being implemented at the State Department of Lands and Physical Planning, which are meant to improve service delivery. The PS maintained that the ongoing reforms, including the staff transfers, are yielding positive results and are unstoppable despite resistance.

It is emerging that some of those affected in the transfers have been strategising to mobilise powerful forces to fight on their behalf while some have moved to court.

"The court cases have raised eyebrows because it has been observed that Ardhi House employees, unlike other government workers, have a tendency to file cases at the Industrial Court to resist routine transfers," said the PS during a radio interview.

Mr Korir said all civil servants agree and sign up to work in any station in any part of the country and there are no special categories. "No one is immune to a transfer. Transfers are mandatory for any civil servant, so when you see people going that far to block their transfers, there is something there and that's how cartels work," he said.

The transfers are part of a raft of reforms which the PS is implementing to improve staff morale and service delivery. The customer service desks on the ground floor of Ardhi House are being revamped to enhance service provision and reduce congestion. 

The State Department says it is working on resolving a few pending issues with the Ardhisasa, the online platform that allows citizens, stakeholders and interested parties to interact with land information held and processes undertaken by the government.

In early April, Cabinet Secretary Zachariah Njeru and PS Korir chaired a meeting that brought together department staff, Law Society of Kenya and other stakeholders at the Geospatial Data Centre in Ruaraka, Nairobi, where they agreed to form a technical team to audit the platform and formulate solutions.

The technical team has already resolved several issues and is expected to present its final report to the CS and the PS early next month.

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