The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) wants the Ministry of Lands to create a task force that will review the electronic land registration and transfer system.
LSK’s president, Allen Gichuhi said having the task force review the system will save Parliament time when it approves the regulations that will give the Ministry of Lands CS the power to prepare guidelines for the execution of the online land system.
Lawyers said the guidelines will help them to conduct their roles online. “Let us jump-start the process. As the parliamentary process goes on, we can now start constituting a task force to start the process to prepare guidelines for e-conveyancing,” Mr Gichuhi said.
LSK has termed the ministry’s plans to offer its services online as illegal arguing that only lawyers can sign-off on land processes and documents.
“We urge you to immediately suspend the impugned and illegal online transfer and to revert to the previous regime.
“We also urge you to immediately cease online processing of consents that require physical presence or third-party engagements,” Mr Gichuhi said in a letter to Ms Karoney last week.
The online land services can be accessed via the eCitizen platform where Kenyans can carry out land searches, pay land rents, and land transfers.
However, as much as the services provide a certain level of convenience, Gichuhi said the system lacks verification as some processes which require physical presence will be carried out online. “The notice purported to say that any person could lodge a transfer of land. […]” he said.
The ministry has since made clear that the role of lawyers is not being replaced.
“The conveyancing and security instruments such as transfers, charges, and discharges which are by law required to be prepared by qualified persons, will continue to be so drawn,” Lands Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri said.
“Execution and attestation of such instruments will similarly continue to be done in accordance with the law.”