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Signed, sealed and delivered: It appears the system is working, slowly but surely...

PETER KIMANI
By Peter Kimani | October 29th 2021
Moi Avenue Street, Nairobi [Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

I was in town this week. I drove faster than I thought I would, secured a parking slot even sooner. Then I took a leisurely walk to City Square. It was Monday morning, and my mission was to secure a new passport.

If you don’t know, old passports will be phased out by the end of this year. One will need an e-passport, which includes your biometrics, so no one can steal your document and pretend it’s you—unless of course they steal your fingerprints and pupils.

After barely a 15-minute wait, I was told the passport had been dispatched to GPO, the General Post Office, nearly a kilometre away. Apparently, when I made the online payment, I had selected GPO as the point of collection.

“It’s already been dispatched, so you should pick it in the afternoon,” the attendant assured. A chill went down my spine. It was midday. Afternoon would mean any time from 2pm, give or take an hour for mail sorting. I had an engagement starting at 5.30pm, and a notorious Mombasa Road to deal with.

In panic, I called someone who knew somebody who knew the postmaster. I wanted to ensure the document was tracked and delivered to me. I was asked to wait an hour then check back. Okay, I said to myself, I might as well have a meal.

I did. It wasn’t an hour yet, so instead of calling my contact for update, I decided to just walk to GPO and enquire about my document. It was there—signed, sealed and delivered.

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