President Uhuru Kenyatta has pinpointed the Ministry of Lands as the greatest challenge posed when it comes to advancing reforms in Kenya. Speaking at the stakeholders’ breakfast meeting at State House, President Kenyatta lauded the reforms which were instituted in the business sector to ensure Kenya’s economic growth and stability is boosted, leading to an improvement in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rating, but said the Lands Ministry is a tough nut to crack. He said lawyers are opposing reforms in the Lands Ministry, “It’s very disappointing when you see lawyers in the frontline of defeating reforms we want to make, especially in the Lands Registry and how people are able to register mortgages and everything else because of your self-interests,” he said.
The Head of State has urged legal practitioners to support the outlined reforms in the Lands Ministry, “Don’t look at it from a selfish point of view, look at it from what does it mean to improving the business environment and attracting investments and in increasing the volumes of business which will also increase your own business,” said President Kenyatta. He said the same applies to County governments when it comes to cleaning registries. He revealed that he is overseeing a countrywide geospatial mapping project and the results for Nairobi County aren’t pleasant, “The results show that Nairobi is currently being supported by 150,000 land rate payers. The truth is Nairobi is a County that as of now, has in excess of 1.5 million properties and property owners, the bulk of who aren’t paying an iota!” He said as a result, the County is depending on a few people in sustaining its development, which shouldn’t be the case.
Furthermore, the President said the government will continue supporting the judiciary but it must play its part in the war against graft. He said reforms in the investigative and prosecution agencies have led to an increase in the number of prosecutions, but the judiciary must turn those cases into convictions. “At the end of the day if people are going to know if we are serious about corruption, it’s going to be based on the number of people who are going to be locked up and based on the resources and assets we recover,” he said.