Top ten challenges with the Ardhisasa System
The Ardhisasa online system developed to ease land
transactions has been with us for a few months. As with any new system, its usage comes with some challenges. As anticipated, land
professionals, land owners and other users who have used the system have had mixed experiences with it.
This ranges from registration, upgrading of the account, missing files among
Quick read: Ultimate guide to understanding Ardhisasa
While Ardhisasa is an excellent system which
will put Kenya on a global scale in terms of land management, the challenge like the validity and completeness of
data, stemming from decades of graft in the Ministry
and improper storage of land records are some of the challenges that the newly launched system is facing. There are cases
where some title deeds have been allocated on
road reserves and other categories of public some files are missing and others have deteriorated with time making it
difficult to ascertain ownership. Therefore, with the launch of a new system,
there are usually adoption challenges. In the immediate the following are the anticipated
1. Initial delay.
While the digitalized land recording system aim was
streamline land transactions and ownership
easing the frustrations of property owners and buyers such as queueing for long hours at land offices countrywide, there is a
big delay in the initial stages. Delays in processing
requests for account upgrades for its members and lack of clarity in processing transactions to Nairobi properties that are offline
By registration to the system, a user is deemed to
have accepted the terms and conditions and will equally be bound by the
same. This includes willingness to use the system.
However, the system can only benefit the people who can use the computer or phones, leaving many Kenyans
exposed in the hand of the conmen.
3. Restricted searches:
With limited searches on the Ardhisasa platform,
the public, investors and practicing professionals and even Kenyans in general will have
difficulties where they seek to conduct official searches without the
proprietors’ consent. Valuers and Banks will for instance face
difficulties in searching and doing due diligence for properties targeted for forced sale by lending institutions. Owners to such
properties are unlikely to give permission for searches to be conducted
against their properties.
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4. Lack of sufficient infrastructure at the county level.
With this system heading into the counties, key
concern has been raised on the preparedness by the counties for this
reforms. Many counties have insufficient infrastructure
to store, process and disseminate electronic data real-time. In some places, there will be need to require extra/secure
physical space and/or reliable power. There will
also be concern to develop guidelines with information on issues relating to standards, formats, security and dissemination of
information in the system for ease of reference or
use by users or institutions planning to develop sub-systems compatible with the national system.
The timelines shared by the government to complete
the digitization in the whole country is unrealistic. Given that the
uploading of records must be preceded by the conversion of
title deeds, it is not in doubt that the process to attain national coverage will go far beyond the provided December 2022
5. Feasibility of the system
While the efforts to digitize land transactions are
highly welcome, users of the NLIMS have
expressed concerns over its feasibility based on a number of challenges experienced like difficulties in registering &
upgrading of professional accounts among other
6. Confusion on the award of titles
In full operation, the repealed land registration
laws such as Government Lands Act (Cap. 280),
the Registration of Titles Act (Cap. 281), the Land Titles Act (Cap. 282) and the Registered Land Act (Cap. 300). will be
collapsed into one, with all titles issued under the
repealed laws cancelled and replaced with titles under the Land Registration Act, 2012. This will likely leave a loophole for
When these parcels of land will be migrated to the
new regime, their ownership, size and other
interests will not change. What will change, however, is the introduction of Registry Index Maps (RIMs) in place of the current
system that uses deed plans which is a bit
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7. Identity challenges
There is lack of system crosscheck’s identity
information from the registry of persons. For
instance, if your identity details do not tally with the information at the registry of persons, you shall not be able to
transact on the system. This is a challenge to
those people who will not be able to go to Ardhi house to correct their details.
8. Verification of Foreign companies
Where the registered proprietor to a property is a
foreigner or a foreign company, it will be impossible to transact with your
property until is there is created into the system a
mechanism to verify Identity information.
9. Distressed and probate properties
It is not possible to deal with transaction such
searches and sale of distressed properties and probate matters because of the
approval process required.
10. Professional accounts inclusion.
Key stakeholders are left out for account
upgrading. There are concerns that the list of
professionals whose accounts qualify for upgrading is too short. There have been suggestions that registered private
valuers, registered real estate agents and registered survey assistants, who
regularly engage in land transactions on behalf of clients, ought to
In conforming to the principles advanced in the
Access to Information Act 2016, the ministry
should have an efficient communication & feedback mechanism where users of the NLIMS can not only access information but also
lodge complaints when the need arises. Going forward, there should be an
introduction of a hybrid system on an interim basis to
allow for a smooth transition until such a time when the NLIMS will be fully operational
Ardhi House or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The ministry can also be reached on hone: 0743922876.
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