Long queues have been the norm at the Nyayo house, Immigration Department. This has now prompted interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki to take action, labelling it a crime scene.
Kindiki made the remarks while appearing before the National Assembly house Committee on Regional Integration where he said that he plans to clean the department and get rid of cartels and corrupt officials.
“We have officers there who take bribes while they are supposed to give Kenyans free services. I will clean up Nyayo House once and for all. We will seal off Nyayo House and name it a scene of crime,” he pointed out.
With the application rate for passports processing in the country standing at 5,000 per day, the current back log stands at 58,000 which Kindiki linked to deep rooted graft.
The CS further said linked insecurity and terrorism to delays experienced at Nyayo house. According to him applicants in some parts of the country wait for up to three years just to get Identity Cards.
“Some of the challenges we have including insecurity and terrorism, could be as a result of corrupt elements at Nyayo house. If you go to Wajir, 21 year olds are waiting for IDs for 3 years now,” Kindiki said.
He however assured the parliament that plans are in place for passports to be ready within 7 days. With regards to delays in IDs, Kindiki said that in the near future, Kenyans will get the documents in 21 days. IDs will however be replaced with the digital Maisha Namba that would also serve as death certificate number incase one passes away.
Kindiki’s new pledge to root out cartels at Nyayo house comes a few months after he made a similar commitment. Kindiki at the time had promised to clear out 42,000 pending applications by June 30th.
While giving his second public accountability statement, Kindiki acknowledged that the breakdown of a printer had caused delays, with some applicants waiting for several months to receive their passports.
“We have taken urgent remedial measure to correct that problem. I plead for patience and within 7 days, we will restore the broken equipment and we already have stocks that arrived on Friday which can help us clear the backlog and also help us with the normal ongoing applications,” Kindiki said on May 31.