New order scraps old land registration units

NAIROBI…Land Registration Districts will now be scrapped and replaced with 61 land registration units spread out all across the country. The units were communicated in a legal notice by the Lands Cabinet Secretary Prof Jacob Kaimenyi, and are expected to come into force any time from now. The new order which effectively revokes the 1981 Registered Land Districts Order, lays out the procedure for the conversion of parcels of land from the current system of registration to the newly established land registration units. This order also details the procedure to be followed by any person with an interest in land within the registration units who is aggrieved by the information given in the conversion list.

“In accordance with the new order, the authority responsible for land survey, which is the Surveys Records Office shall prepare cadastral maps and conversion lists indicating the new and where applicable old numbers for parcels of land within each registration unit. Upon completion of this exercise, the authority shall then submit the cadastral maps and conversion lists to the Registrar of Lands,” explained Jacqueline Wangui of MMC of Africa Law on what parts of the order mean.

The Lands CS will thereafter be required to publish through the media the cadastral maps and conversion lists and set a date from when land registries shall be open to the public for dealings relating to parcels within the registration units.

“He will also be required to send a copy of the publication to the relevant County Governments for further dissemination to the public and should not take more than four months to do so since the end of the publication,” added MMC Africa Law Partner Ms Jacqueline Wangui.

In the same breath, the Lands CS published a new set of Land Regulations that outline the manner of administration of public land, conversion of freehold and leasehold tenure over ninety-nine years owned by non-citizens, administration of private land, compulsory acquisition of interests in land, settlement programs and easements and analogous rights.

In the new regulations, the National Land Commission (NLC) shall keep and maintain a data base of all public land and shall within five years from the commencement of the regulations undertake the conversions of all freehold titles and leases held by non-citizens that exceed ninety nine years.

“The registered proprietor shall be required to surrender the original title document to the Commission. The Commission shall prepare a lease for a term of ninety-nine years in the name of the registered proprietor and all Government processing fees incurred under the process will be free of charge,” explained Ms Jacqueline Wangui.

The regulations will also be used as a guide on the procedure of applications for subdivision, amalgamation, change or extension of user partition and reparcellation of free hold and leasehold land.

These applications as outlined in the new regulations will be made to the County and National governments in consultation with the Director of Surveys, Director of Physical Planning, Land Administration Officer and the Land Control Board, where applicable.