Fred Matiang’i: IDs, birth certificates to be out on same day of application

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Interior minister Fred Matiang’i has said that from July 1, 2020, key documents such as the national identity (ID) card, passports, birth and death certificates will be processed and given to applicants on the same day they are formally sought.

Matiang’i, who spoke at the security chiefs meeting in Mombasa on Wednesday, January 15, however, said that that arrangement will only be possible for Kenyans applying for the documents in Nairobi.

Currently, applicants of the National ID in Nairobi wait for at least one week for the document to be processed. Birth certificates, on the other hand, also take a similar amount of time to be released.

Applicants from other parts of the country and abroad — besides the capital city — will have to wait for at least a week for their documents to be processed should Matiang’i’s directive be implemented beginning July 1.

“Every milestone in the life of each and every citizen in this country from birth, identification, travel and even death, is marked and documented in our ministry. We interact with our citizens at their most vulnerable moments, and the pain and misery I saw them go through last year is unacceptable in Public Service.

“… Change in our processes, procedures and attitudes cannot be over-emphasised. By 1st of July this year, issuance of ID cards, birth and death certificates and passports shall be a same-day service, except for applicants originating from outside of Nairobi and abroad,” said Matiang’i.

“… I shall hold the County Commissioners responsible for, in particular, immigration services, registration of persons and issuance of birth and death certificates in their counties.”

Lack sleep

The interior cabinet secretary, in his address, also revealed that the high-pressure ministry often makes him lack sleep as he worries about the security situation in different parts of Kenya.

“On December 31, 2019, for example, I slept at 3am. Nakuru hosted at least 30, 000 visitors for the New Year’s Eve celebrations, and [Inspector General of Police Hillary] Mutyambai, Rift Valley Regional Coordinator George Natembeya and I were in constant communication on phone just to ensure everything was okay security-wise,” said Matiang’i.

al-Shabaab resurgence

In his speech, the minister also addressed the concerns of al-Shabaab resurgence in North Eastern Kenya, vowing to crush the millitants and their sympathisers.

“Continued weaknesses in the governance structures in the neighbourhood, has seen the resurgence of al-Shabaab and other criminal groups. This has further been complicated by the collaboration, cooperation, and collusion between terrorists and select elements within our local communities.

“Whilst we have, and shall continue to have respect for the rule of law and human rights, when clean up time comes, we shall make no distinction between the enemy and those who harbour them. We shall be driven by our sacred and cardinal responsibility to protect our people and defend our country. We shall spare no efforts nor resources in attainment of freedom from fear. May this serve as a clear warning to harbourers and cordinators. You shall not be spared,” said the CS.

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