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State to clear ID cards backlog in 30 days

National
Immigration Principal Secretary Julius Bitok. [File, Standard]

Printing of about 400,000 new generation national identity cards, commonly known as Maisha cards, will be cleared within 30 days.

Immigration Principal Secretary Julius Bitok said the backlog was occasioned by a court case that stopped production in November last year and breakdown of the printing machine. 

In December 2023, the High Court suspended printing of new generation IDs but later lifted the order in February 2024.

"We are working very hard to ensure that every Kenyan gets this vital document called ID. The system to produce them is up and running as you can see and every Kenyan who applies the ID is able to get it on time," said Amb Bitok.

"Currently, we are processing 7,000 per hour and 15,000 per day since people here are working day and night. You can get an ID without delay within 21 days as per our Service Charter after application," he added.

The PS spoke after visiting the printing press of the IDs at National Registration Bureau in National Social Security Fund (NSSF) building, Community, Nairobi.

He said the printing of 15,000 IDs per day is against about 8,000 applications they receive per day.

"We have surpassed the daily applications by doubling the production and by next month we shall procure another machine to increase the daily output of 25,000 to 30,000 per day and do away with delays," said Bitok.

He said so far 600,000 IDs have been produced in the last four months and are awaiting collection. 

The Maisha card has four features; a lifetime Maisha number, Maisha card for identification, Maisha digital ID and Maisha Integrated Database, initially called Population Registration and Immigration Services (IPRS).

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