Govt Buys 100,000 Passport Booklets After Uproar Over Delay

A collage photo of Kenyans in a queue at the immigration offices in Nairobi (left) and the new Kenyan passport (right).
A collage photo of Kenyans in a queue at the immigration offices in Nairobi (left) and the new Kenyan passport (right).
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Nation

Immigration and Citizen Services Principal Secretary (PS) Julius Bitok on Wednesday, April 5, announced that the government had acquired over 100,000 passport booklets.

The PS noted that the new materials will be essential in clearing the backlog that caused an uproar among Kenyans.

"What is wrong with the passport issuance, are there no booklets? It has never been this before," an angry Kenyan questioned.

Bitok was quick to respond, announcing the arrival of the booklets which will address the crisis.

Immigration PS Julius Bitok holding a box of passport booklets on Wednesday April 5, 2023
Immigration PS Julius Bitok holding a box of passport booklets on Wednesday, April 5, 2023
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Julius Bitok

"We are soon getting a permanent solution to the shortage of booklets and delay in issuance of passports. It is a work in progress. Kindly bear with us as we work on sorting out the issue," Bitok responded.

"To address delays in the issuance of passports, today we have received printing booklets," he added.

According to the PS, the acquisition was one of the urgent measures aimed at implementing solutions to promote efficient service delivery in the immigration department.

Kenyans raised concerns over the delay and what appeared to be laxity among immigration officials in addressing the matter. 

"How long should we expect our passport booklets? I have been waiting for my daughter's passport since December 2022, please help," one concerned Kenyan appealed.

On February 4, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki assured Kenyans that passport delays will be resolved since the printer at the Directorate of Immigration Services was fixed.

"The department has 50,000 34-page booklets with 200,000 more expected as well as a similar figure each month in the next six months," the CS added.

He further disclosed the government was to triple the number of Kenyan passport holders from 3.5 million to 10 million in five years.

An image of the Interior and National Administration Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki at a past event.
An image of the Interior and National Administration Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki at a past event.
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Ministry of Interior