Ongoing Streamlining of Land Registration Services And The Surrounding Structures
To promote and transform the effective delivery of Government Services, the Government of Kenya has progressively invested in the improvement of land registration services and delivery of the same. This year, the Government of Kenya has inculcated more effort in streamlining the land registration services in the following areas:
a. The Implementation of National Land Information Management System (NLIMS), (otherwise referred to as “Ardhi Sasa”)
The National Land Information Management System (NLIMS), (otherwise referred to as “Ardhi Sasa”) is an online platform designed by the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning and National Land Commission to eradicate the manual operations and adopt digital transactions for land related matters in Kenya. Some of the services rendered on the platform include conducting official searches; obtaining land rents; carrying out transfers; payment of stamp duty and conversion of title deeds. Additionally, the collection of stamp duty has been designated to Ardhi Sasa from the Kenya Revenue Authority vide a joint public notice dated 27th November 2023.
Another major change brought about by Ardhi Sasa is the conversion and migration of title deeds registers under the unified system of land laws. The conversion process is currently underway in Nairobi and Mombasa. For the titles to be converted to the unified system of laws, the cadastral maps to the land need to be prepared, approved and published in the Kenya Gazette for conversion for subsequent land transactions to take place. Once listed, the owner will need to apply for conversion via LRA Form 97 and attach the original title deed. The old registers to the land will be closed and the new registers under the unified system of laws and a new title is issued.
b. The Land Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023
The Land Laws (Amendment) Bill 2023 aims to remedy historical injustices faced by the bona fide purchaser for value without notice. Recently, the Supreme Court in Dina Management Limited v County Government of Mombasa & 5 others (Petition 8 (E010) of 2021)  KESC 30 (KLR) (21 April 2023) held that a subsequent purchaser of a title acquired through historical injustices cannot acquire legal title.
The holding by the Supreme Court defies the principle of the bona fide purchaser for value without notice under the Torrrens System. The holding by the Supreme Court was motivated by the conflicting precedents from different courts. For example, the Court of Appeal in Tarabana Company Limited v Sehmi & 7 others (Civil Appeal 463 of 2019)  KECA 76 (KLR) (8 October 2021), the Court held that the bona fide purchaser for value without notice should acquire legal title despite obtaining an illegally acquired title. However, the Supreme Court in Arthi Highway Developers Limited v West End Butchery Limited & 6 others  eKLR, held that a registered proprietor can only obtain a legitimate title if the initial allocation was lawful.
Despite the conflicting rulings, it is deducible from the recent Supreme Court case in Dina Management that the bona fide purchaser for value without notice has the responsibility to carry out extensive due diligence prior to acquiring property,
In lieu of the above, the proposed Amendment Bill seeks to establish the Land Compensation Inquiry Committee which will be tasked with determining disputes regarding historical injustices especially with reference to the bona fide purchaser for value without notice.