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EACC report exposes glaring errors in land records

by 14/03/2018 16:47:00 0 comments 1 Views
By LEONARD ONYANGO
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The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has unearthed irregularities in land management that are exposing the Ministry of Lands to cartels and fraudsters.

In the report released Wednesday, EACC identifies several irregularities ranging from improper issuance of new parcels and deed plan numbers, inaccurate surveys, irregular map amendments, double registrations of parcels and forgeries in land transactions.

Other loopholes highlighted in the 171-page report include inefficiency in bulk title processing at the National Titling Centre, lack of record management policy, unauthorised access to land records, absence of a system of tracking records, and existence of parallel, duplicate and missing records.

INCOMPETENT STAFF
The report, which was launched by Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney and Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri, reveals that land records at various registries are handled by interns, casual labourers and people termed as volunteers without supervision.

Such unauthorised people undertake duties such as retrieval of files, filing of land records and conducting searches, hence opening the window to fraudulent activities.

The Eliud Wabukala-led EACC also question the qualification of land surveyors, since most of the work submitted to the Survey of Kenya Deed Plan office has glaring errors.

“Correspondence from the regional surveyor in Kakamega, for example, cited 96 mutations, with errors that included duplication of parcel numbers, encroachment on other parcels, missing access roads and differing shapes and measurements,” the report says.

“The Land Surveyors' Board is mandated to grant licences and take disciplinary proceedings against licensed surveyors.

"But at the time of the assessment, the board had not undertaken compliance audits of survey work, citing limited resources.

"This has resulted in some inaccurate survey jobs being submitted to the ministry without action being taken against errant surveyors,” it adds.

According to the report that was prepared between September 2016 and February 2017, some unscrupulous ministry officials have been taking advantage of frequent lack of crucial materials for printing maps in the Lands Ministry to swindle money.

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