Tuesday, Prof. Kithure Kindiki, Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS), unexpectedly dropped by the Immigration division at Nyayo House to observe how the office runs.
Kindiki’s unexpected visit follows a flurry of complaints from Kenyans about the length of time it takes to process their work licenses, passports, and visas.
The Ministry of Interior released a statement in which it stated that “service seekers who dealt with the CS complained of slow services and long waiting periods and begged for more service counters to accelerate the issuance processes and investments in improved equipment to remove the backlog.”
Although they bemoaned the long lines, they welcomed the introduction of an online scheduling tool for biometrics appointments.
However, immigration officials blamed the delays on a rise in passport demand.
Amb. Isaac Ochieng, the department’s head of corporate relations, noted that the office’s printer had also broken down, which was the cause of the delays in processing the paperwork.
Ochieng stated that replacing the office’s printer will cost Ksh. 150 million.
Kindiki claims that the government is eager to streamline passport issuance and other services provided by the immigration department and will secure the necessary funding and reforms to make this a reality.
According to him, the government will investigate the bottlenecks causing the delays and put the appropriate fixes into place in line with its commitment to encourage effectiveness in the provision of citizens’ basic services.