Kindiki blames passport backlog on corruption, labels Nyayo House ‘crime scene’
Written by Inka FM on 24 August 2023
Appearing before the Regional Integration Committee at Parliament Buildings on Thursday, August 24, the CS admitted that corrupt officials at the immigration department were taking bribes for government services offered at no cost.
“I have received credible intelligence that could suggest that part of our problem in the processing of passports is a corruption problem. There are good officers who are there serving the country patriotically but there are others collecting bribes and harassing the people of Kenya to get services that they should be getting for free,” Kindiki told the committee.
Kindiki, however, assured the MPs that efforts are underway to clean up the mess at the immigration offices, adding that if need be the authorities will seal Nyayo House and declare it a crime scene.
“I will clean up Nyayo House once and for all. If need be we will seal off Nyayo house and declare it a scene of crime,” the CS added.
“How do Kenyans cue from 6 AM? It won’t be business as usual. We must clean up Nyayo house.”
There have been rising complaints of delays in processing of passports recently with the immigration department attributing the backlog to a faulty printer.
The immigration department said in May that one of its machines that prints the 34, 50 and 66-page booklets had broken down, affecting many Kenyans seeking to travel abroad.
Kindiki told the committee on Thursday that the passport backlog currently stands at 58,000.
According to the CS, the Department of Immigration and Citizen Services processes approximately 5,000 passports daily.
Kindiki said the department is working to ensure the crucial travel document is issued within seven days. He noted that the department is keen to process passports within three days in the future and 24 hours in the event of emergencies.
At the same time, he told the committee that Kenyans would continue to wait 21 days for their identity cards to be issued.
He announced that plans to replace the cards with a Digital Maisha number, which will translate to a Death Certificate number upon death, were in top gear.