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As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Kenya, the disruption to our government departments and services has been inevitable. Government departments have had to re-think, improvise and adapt to the current challenges and difficulties we face as a result of the spread of the virus.

As time progresses and the respective departments make the necessary adaptations, a concerted effort is being made to avoid a full closure and keep some form of business and transaction continuity.


The Government continues to implement measures to mitigate COVID-19 and regrettably these measures affect the operations at the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning, with majority of services suspended.

The Ministry is however providing limited services during this period of closure. The following services are being offered at the Customer Care Centres of Registries countrywide:

      • Registration of bank charges;
      • Registration of bank discharges;
      • Registration of court orders; and
      • Verification of court sureties.

All other services remain suspended until further notice.

While for those reasons many land transactions have ground to a halt, and while it remains unclear as to what stamp duty assessments can be made, we note that stamp duty assessments on the transfer of shares in land transactions are being assessed.


Filing of Documents

The filing of documents in the Court of Appeal, High Court and the Magistrates Courts is done electronically via the respective Court’s email and payments regarding the same are to be made via M-Pesa.  Further, the service of documents is to be made via electronic mail.

Hearings and Mentions

A notice was given by the Judiciary on the 19th May 2020 regarding the hearing of matters listed for March and April. It stated that following the Chief Justice’s order to upscale Judiciary operations, Hearings shall be conducted through virtual platforms.  On contacting the respective courts, parties are then being assigned a new date and the necessary online details regarding the virtual Hearing/Mention.

However,  there  seems  to  be  a  discrepancy  between  the  aforementioned  approach  and practice.  There exist various challenges in the execution of virtual proceedings such as;

      • The examination of witnesses – some witnesses may not have access to the prescribed online platforms or reside in remote areas without efficient network connectivity.
      • The presentation of evidence
      • Technological interruptions i.e. poor internet connection.

Alternatively, some Courts have opted to rely on the parties’ written submissions in the hearing of a case.

Judgements and Rulings

Rulings and Judgements shall be delivered electronically in accordance with Paragraph 5 of the Practice Directions issued by the Chief Justice on 17th April 2020 via Gazette Notice No.3137.  Parties must consent to having the Judgement delivered electronically.

While in practice this is the case, it is noticeable in certain divisions that, as one might expect given the implications of Covid-19, the Court is taking longer to respond to requests for the delivery of Judgements.


In response to the Covid-19, the Business Registration Service issued a notice dated 26th March, 2020 outlining services that are available at the company registry.

The notice outlined that the online platform was still operational and that skeleton staff had been put in place on a rotational basis to support operations at the registry.

The services available include:

      •  Registration of business;
      • Support to facilitate investigative agencies; and
      • Registration of debentures and charges.

A  drop  office  has  also  been  designated  for  documents  at  the  Sheria  house  Business Registration Service back office.

For requests not mentioned above such as; name searches, changes, business name changes, link a business, official search and CR 13 inter alia, the Business Registration Service has availed specific email addresses to facilitate communication and to maintain ease of doing services.

It should be noted however that some services are taking longer to be processed during this time.

For further guidance or advice, please do feel free to contact us.


25 May 2020

“When tomorrow is too late.” A. F. Gross