Interior CS Kithure Kindiki on Thursday, August 31, made an impromptu visit to Nyayo House to witness the harrowing experiences Kenyans undergo to get passports.
Speaking to journalists, Kindiki directed security officers to clean up crowds and people doing nothing from every side of Nyayo House.
‘”I do not expect people who are not applicants or those not seeking passport services to idle around Nyayo House.
When I came, I found a large crowd outside this building, but they could not give me a satisfactory reason for being there,” said CS Kindiki.
Further, the CS emphasized that the printing of passports is a security process, and the facility is protected by the government.
Kindiki ordered that people should not be found idling around Nyayo House adding that most of the idlers do not have valid reasons.
Nyayo House Concerns
Additionally, CS Kindiki addressed the concerns raised by Kenyans about the services at the State department of Immigration.
Kindiki said the country has not been able to match the production of passports with the demand for the last two years.
“When we reviewed the production channel, we realized that we have under invested in passport production.
We need to ensure that the department can directly modernize the facilities it requires to serve even more Kenyans,” said Kindiki.
In addition, Kindiki said they have engaged the Treasury for the State Department of Immigration to have appropriation in aid in the Directorate of passport.
Kindiki argued that if the department is allowed retain part of the revenue it generates, there will be improved service delivery.
“We have agreed with the National Treasury, and we have been able to get approximately 1.3 billion as appropriation in aid for the Immigration Department.
That money is enough to buy all that we require to print enough passports, process them in time and serve people well,” said CS Kindiki.
Also, Kindiki defended the employees at Nyayo House saying that they did not have the appropriate support to perform efficiently.
Further, the CS said the previous governments did not invest heavily in passport production thereby jeopardizing service delivery.
“We are way below our production capacity, as soon as the exchequer is available to the state department, we will acquire as many printers as possible and improve our facilities.
We are going to make sure this place is efficient; we are going to surprise Kenyans with a very efficient passport processing and experience,” stated Kindiki.
The CS noted that the department is producing 5,000 passports per day with the staff working in two shifts, day, and night.
Also, CS Kindiki pleaded with Kenyans to be patient as they work on solving the problems at Nyayo House.
“We will solve this problem, in the coming days we will back to normal, in another 14 days the entire backlog will be finished, and we will start optimal production of passports as they arise,” said Kindiki.
Kindiki said receiving bribes at Nyayo House is great misconduct and misuse of the privilege to serve people.
“It is illegal to ask for money to offer services to the people of Kenya. Majority of our employees are very honest, hardworking, and patriotic Kenyans and I really applaud them.
But there must be a few among us who are tainting our image. As I said, we will clean up this place from corruption cartels and anyone asking for bribe,” said Kindiki.
Further, the CS said the crackdown on individuals soliciting bribes will be a continuous process.
“We will arrest all the brokers and members of staff receiving bribes from Kenyans before offering services to them,” said Kindiki.
CS Kindiki said the ministry is committed to making service delivery at Nyayo House smooth and efficient.
Immigration and Citizen Services Principal Secretary Julius Bitok said the crackdown on suspected brokers and their accomplices linked to passports-issuance racket will be extended to other cities and towns.
“The crackdown that is around Nyayo house will be extended to other cities and towns like Mombasa, Kisumu, Kisii and many other places where there are complaints from Kenyans that are not able to get services because they’re people who are suspected to be abetting corruption,” said PS Bitok in a press statement on August 31.
Further, he said the government was determined to rid Nyayo House of conmen and middlemen who are suspected to be working with Immigration officers to extort bribes from applicants seeking passports and other services.
‘Besides Immigration Services, Nyayo House hosts many other government offices… I want to assure Kenyans that we are going to make Nyayo House a place where you can expect to be served diligently without having to know anyone or parting with bribes.’
PS Bitok stated that DCI officers arrested four men inside Nyayo House over suspected soliciting of bribes.