- Done internal investigations and identified those who were involved in the renewal of the lease which was registered in the name of another individual.
- Sent on compulsory leave members of staff who hadn’t taken leave for a long time and requested the staff who were involved show cause why they shouldn’t be disciplined.
- Handed over the matter to CID and EACC to carry out further investigations. The matter is at an advanced stage.
- As investigations continue in order to unearth more details on how fake leases are being prepared and by whom, the government has frozen renewal and extension of expired leases till further notice.
MEASURES TO ADDRESS MALPRACTICES IN LAND TRANSACTIONS.
- Digitization of land registries.
- Introduced a biometric access control system in the Ministry. This system will start operating from 9th January, 2016.
ACCESS CONTROL BENEFITS
- Access control enables all your security to be centrally controlled.
- Anyone without a biometric access card or rights is prevented from accessing the premises.
- Improve staff management with reports showing staff movement and time keeping.
- Stops widespread knowledge of a door entry code or combination.
- Enables restricted access, safeguard equipment and records – e.g. records archives and server rooms.
- Configurations are set to open certain doors during set periods especially for visitors biometric access cards.
- Insisted on members of staff wearing identification budges routinely. This makes it easier for us to identify brokers and cartels.
- For those visitors who are sent by their employers such as clerks in law firms, we require them to produce a letter from their employer authorizing them to transact business with the Ministry.
- Transferred members of staff in 9 Land Registries where the public have severally alleged corruption by members of staff.
- Recently transferred all security personnel (APs) who have been working at the Ministry.
Why? There were allegations that they had become compromised by cartels and were not willing to assist in investigations into malpractices and arrest of people caught with fake land documents.
- Have been having a series of meetings with the land fraud unit of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations on strategies for preventing fraudulent land transactions. Indeed, I can comfortably reveal that we have Police in plain clothes in the Ministry at the moment.
- In September this year, we invited EACC to conduct a systems audit of our processes and procedures with a view to identifying weaknesses and suggesting solutions on how to seal the said weaknesses. This exercise will be completed by the end of May 2017.
- Plans are at an advanced stage to launch a task force whose key term of reference will be to investigate the processing and renewal of leases for the last 6 years, with a view to finding out the following:-
- Whether due process was carried out.
- The person(s) who signed, registered and issued the said leases.
- Further, they should come up with recommendations on;
- How to prevent fraudulent processing and renewal of leases.
- The actions to be taken against all those individuals who have been involved in fraudulent renewal of leases.
- In April this year we dissolved all the Land Control Boards because they had been in office for too long leading to allegations of being occasionally compromised in discharging their duties.
- Improved tracking of movement of files with a view to identifying the exact office(s) where files get lost. As you all know, loss of files and documents has been a serious source of concern to a sizeable number of our customers.