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Kindiki promises to clear passport backlog in 10 days

 Interior CS Kithure Kindiki at Nyayo House, the headquarters of the Immigration Department, on Friday, September 8, 2023. [File, Standard] 

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has said the passport printing backlog will be cleared in 10 days, as immigration officers work round the clock to process more than 40,000 pending travel documents.

During an impromptu visit at Nyayo House, the headquarters of the Immigration department, the CS said he had noted progress in the processing of passports, which resulted from radical reforms in the department.

Such include adding an extra nightshift and the progressive flushing out of cartels who deliberately delayed the process in some instances. 

"There will be no backlog once we are done with the work we have started," he said on Friday, promising prompt processing of passports for future applicants.

The visit was the latest in a series of impromptu spot checks at Nyayo House, with Kindiki vowing to camp at the immigration offices until the passport mess was sorted.

Passport printing has been hampered by broken-down machines and printers, a matter Kindiki said would be resolved once new equipment is procured.

On Thursday the Interior CS held a meeting with top immigration officials aimed at resolving the delay in processing and issuing passports. He promised to introduce more customer care counters and increase the passport printing sections.

His visits are among an overdrive by the Interior Ministry to streamline service provision.

Kindiki also separately visited the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters following concerns over delays in the issuance of Police Clearance Certificates, known better as certificates of good conduct.

The CS met with top DCI officials, led by Director Mohamed Amin, to assess the process and system constraints that have led to a paralysis of the production of the documents, leading to a backlog of 11,000 certificates.

The meeting focused on the procurement of fingerprint scanners that had broken down and a return to normalcy as soon as it is practical.

The CS asked the DCI team to clear the backlog and upgrade the system from the current Automated Palm and Fingerprint Identification System to the more efficient Multi Biometric Identification System.

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