Home Affairs Minister Professor Kithure Kindiki said the backlog of passports at the immigration office had been technically resolved and documents were now ready for collection.
Speaking at Nyayo House in Nairobi on Tuesday, CS Kindiki said the government had resolved the issue of delay which had been the subject of public outcry for years.
He pointed out that the General Department of Immigration has been abandoned for many years and has no funding, so there are not enough machines for production.
“In my public accountability speech, I acknowledged that the public has been protesting the slowness in issuance of passports. At the heart of the problem is the lack of investment by the Department of Immigration for many years,” he said. “We have tried to rectify the situation and the delays accumulated over many years have been overcome technically. »
The CS said the new reforms implemented to streamline the services and efficiency of the Immigration Department will bring about a change in production, issuance, delivery and customer service.
Regarding issuance and delivery, Kindiki said the government has introduced the Rapid Results Initiative (RRI), under which passports presented must be collected within 30 days, otherwise they will be disposed of.
The CS said 87,574 passports were presented last month and were due for collection, the majority at Nyayo House.
“Details of uncollected passport numbers are as follows: - Nyayo House (Nairobi) - 36,170, Embu Regional Office (10,409), Eldoret Regional Office (9,938), Kisumu Regional Office (9,515), Nakuru Regional Office (8,023), Kisii Regional Office (7,971) and Mombasa Regional Office (5,424), Kindiki said.
He emphasized that every Wednesday, the Immigration Department will publish a list of all applicants whose passports will be received the following week, in order to simplify the collection process. “Every Wednesday, we will announce who needs to receive their passports throughout the week. They will be listed all week,” he said.
“All candidates must collect them; Those who do not pick up their passports as scheduled after the notice period expires, we will treat the uncollected documents as uncollected goods and process them.
The Cabinet Secretary further warned that applicants whose passports were canceled will also have to reapply and pay a fine.
He said after RRI, the government's systems will be audited so that passports can be presented within a week with the long-term goal of reducing the number of production days to three.
“We will go through this process and from Monday we will be very busy. After RRI, we will test our system so that passports can be presented within 7 days. Our ultimate vision is to reduce 7 days to 3 days,” he noted.
To tackle the challenge of overcrowding and people having to queue for hours, Professor Kindiki pointed out that the government has decided to recruit officers from the National Youth Service (NYS) to Helps manage crowds and ensures shorter queue times with better customer service.
“We will be using NYS officers to help us manage the crowd. Now no one has to spend more than half an hour to seek service from this management,” he said. Likewise, CS asserted that increased production is important as the process of purchasing printers is underway and staff night shifts are expected to continue.
“We don't have enough production capacity yet, that's why we have ordered more printers... Day and night shifts are still available,” he said.