Court suspends government's hike of ID, passport application fees

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki during a surprise visit at Embu immigration regional office on September 12, 2023.[Muriithi Mugo, Standard]

Kenyans can breathe a sigh of relief after the High Court issued orders suspending the new charges for National Identification Cards (IDs), passports and other immigration documents as gazetted by the Interior Ministry.

High Court Justice Lawrence Mugambi issued the orders stopping the implementation of the newly revised charges, following a petition by Nakuru-based surgeon Dr Magare Gikenyi.

"A conservatory order is hereby issued suspending Gazette Notices No. 15239-15249 dated November 6, 2023, and any other document purporting to give authority to increase or review the charges, fees and levies specified therein pending the hearing and determination of the application inter-partes,” the order stated.

In his petition, Gikenyi argued that the new charges were out of reach of many Kenyans’ pockets while urging the court to certify the matter as urgent.

The Nakuru doctor has sued Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, his Treasury counterpart Njuguna Ndungu, the National Assembly, and the Attorney General.

Justice Mugambi has directed that the three be served within three days, and responses be filed and served within a week.

The case will be mentioned on November 29, 2023.

Gikenyi had sought the court's relief after Interior CS Kindiki announced that the issuance of new ID cards would no longer be free.

The government had ordered that those applying for ID cards for the first time be charged Sh1000 while Kenyans seeking replacement for lost cards pay Sh2000.