Principal Secretary for Immigration and Citizen Services Julius Bitok has vowed to expand an operation that Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki threatened to launch to apprehend passport fraudsters at Nyayo House.
Bikot revealed that the crackdown on suspected brokers and their accomplices linked to the passports-issuance racket will be moved beyond Nyayo House in Nairobi, where four individuals were arrested on Friday, last week.
Speaking in Mombasa during a meeting on the National Assembly Committee on Delegated Legislation on Thursday, August 31, PS Bitok noted that the fraudsters had made life difficult for Kenyans in all Immigration offices across the country.
“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,” Bitok stated.
Principal Secretary for Immigration and Citizen Services Julius Bitok (Centre) speaking to the media after holding meeting with MPs in Mombasa on Thursday, August 31, 2023.
In particular, the Principal Secretary stated that investigative officers were working round the close to deal with similar cases at the Directorate of Immigration’s regional 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,” Bitok stated.
The Principal Secretary for Immigration and Citizen Services also revealed that the government had placed a number of interventions to clear the raging backlog in passport processing.
“Right now, we are producing around 3600 passports per day. We have managed to reduce the backlog that was around 100,000 passports to around 45,000. We are projecting that in the next two weeks, there will be no backlog,” Bitok stated.
According to Bitok, the immediate interventions include the purchase of new printers and the implementation of the proposed private-public partnerships, which are expected to cut down on waiting time.
“We have ordered new printers and enough booklets for Kenyans. Going forward, applying for and getting passports will take you a maximum of seven days.
“We believe it will be possible to get passports within three days. We going to introduce express services to ensure that Kenyans get passports within the shortest time possible,” he revealed.
At the meeting with MPs, Bitok also discussed regulations that would help to enforce the Refugees Act. The Committee, chaired by Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga, is legislatively responsible for ensuring statutory laws and regulations are in harmony with the Constitution and acts of Parliament.
A queue at the Department of Immigration Services Passport control office at Nyayo House in Nairobi for application and renewal of Passports in this photo taken on May 21, 2018