Powerful Woman Fighting Corruption in Matiang'i's Docket

  • Interior CS, Fred Matiang'i is a no-nonsense, tough-talking public servant, loyal to President Uhuru Kenyatta in his fight against corruption.

    Within his ministry lies the Registration Services State Department, headed by Janet Mucheru, the director of civil registration services.

    A report by The Standard on Thursday, December 12, highlighted her tasks as she envisages fighting corruption in the infamous department, which is marred by cartels and corrupt officials minting money from Kenyans who seek crucial documents like IDs, birth and death certificates.

    Director Civil Registration Services State Department of Interior Janet Mucheru during an interview in 2019.

    Mucheru's office is located at Hass Plaza, Nairobi, where birth and death records, from the 1980s, are securely stored. 

    Since taking office in 2017, she narrowed down on cartels who dragged the process of acquiring certificates by preying on unsuspecting Kenyans.

    “For years cartels have had field days minting money, at times taking advantage of the ignorance and desperation of Kenyans. It is a web that we found out involved some of our staff, some who were very senior officers from the Government Printer, where the certificates are printed, and outsiders. 

    "We recently interdicted 24 officers who have been charged in court. These are officers we felt bore the highest responsibilities in sustaining the rot and corruption in processing and issuing of the documents," she stated in an interview in 2019. 

    In 2018, she oversaw the pilot of the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics System (CRVS), a new automated system of issuing birth certificates which would expose thousands of fake seekers of the documents, who engage in double registration and illegal change of personal details.

    “It is my duty to sanitise the records so that we have the correct data even as we work towards an integrated system where every Kenyan’s details will be captured in one card,” she stated in 2019.

    According to the Interior Ministry website, Mucheru has had an outstanding career in government, having worked as a senior administrator in various ministries. She joined the civil service in 1989 as an assistant secretary in the Ministry of Education and her career has progressed over the years.

    She also served in the Ministry of Public Works. 

    The mother of three has a degree in economics and public administration and a masters of business administration. 

    Mombasa residents queue at Bima Towers on February 20, 2018, to get birth certificates. In December 2019, the Director Civil Registration Services State Department of Interior Janet Mucheru stated that she would streamline the process of acquiring the certificates