Is Farida Karoney, the nominated Cabinet Secretary for Lands, Housing and Urban Development the force of change that Ardhi House has all along been waiting for?
To quickly try and answer this question, it was imperative to follow every pronouncement that this former media personality made during her vetting by the Parliament’s Committee on Appointments. And we have enough reasons to believe that Karoney might have a highly successful transformative tenure the Kenya’s Ministry of Land offices.
This immediate former Chief Operating Officer at Royal Media Services is obviously at home at with matters articulation. During this recent vetting though, she exuded two other characters: She came out as a focused and purposeful person, especially on where she wants to start it all once she gets this job.
“I am publicly known as a change leader, a worker, very motivated, I am self-driven. I don’t touch something that I don’t believe in. if I thought for a minute that this job is too hard for me, I wouldn’t have accepted it. I believe I am equal to the task, I have the energy, I have the intellectual capacity, and the ability to work with teams to deliver this change,” Karoney told the Parliamentary Committee.
She told the Committee that in order to be able to deal with cartels that are known to have camped at the Ministry for many years; there is a need to understand some basics:“What is it that makes them (cartels) flourish? What is it that makes them successful? These cartels are successful because records-keeping in the Ministry of lands hasn’t been proper over the years.
You find that we keep physical records; we keep them in places that are, for lack of a better word, dingy. We keep them in places that are not proper records offices. They are easily accessible to third parties who obviously are not interested in transparent processes.”
She also noted that the first thing to do in order to deal with these cartels is to digitize all the records and secure them. “I am aware that the process of digitization has started in the Ministry but we need to fast-tract the process and secure the records because it is not enough to digitize. You can have the records on digital format, but if they are still accessible to fraudsters, then we will not have been able to solve the problem,” she notes.
She sounded particular on the issue of digitization of records, noting that it will effectively eliminate third party interaction with people seeking land services.
In mid-November 2017, out-going Lands CS Jacob Kaimenyi said that digitization of the entire land registration system would cost Ksh17 billion and noted that he projected the entire exercise would be completed in 5 years.
Anda leading Real Estate light, Mr. George Wachiuri of Optiven Group, has expressed optimism that the new CS, if successful in the vetting process, will hit the ground running and perfect the efforts that were kick-started by Hon. Charity Ngilu, the digitization of records at Ardhi House. “It will be pleasing to see Karoney fast-track this digitization process and even condense the dispensation of time on the same.This will help make land purchase processes to become much more transparent and fast,” says Mr. Wachiuri.
Mr. Wachiuri strongly believes that Karoney has what it takes to propel this Ministry towards being efficient and transparent.
“We also encourage her to work closely with the local governments, especially on the area of commissioning geospatial surveys across all the 47 counties, in order to establish well-thought zonings for various developments,” Says Mr. Wachiuri.
When all is said and done, Karoney’s Doctor of Philosophy degree in strategic management might also come in handy as she works on the best transformative strategies at Ardhi House.
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