County Commissioner says 4,000 identity cards uncollected in Busia

Some of the uncollected ID Cards at DO's office. [File, Standard]

Busia County Commissioner Chaunga Mwachaunga has said 4,000 national identity cards are lying uncollected at the Registrar of Persons.

Mr Mwachaunga who was addressing local administrators urged residents to collect the IDs to enable them to access government services on the e-citizen platform.

“We are going the extra mile to ensure no Kenyan misses government services as a result of delayed release of IDs. It’s disheartening to see the documents gathering dust in government offices,” he said.

This comes despite a section of Kenyans expressing frustration at the duration it takes for the IDs to be processed and released to applicants.

According to data from the National Registration Bureau, Kakamega County tops the Western region with the highest number of uncollected IDs.

Kakamega has 7,965 uncollected IDs followed by Bungoma with 7,145 while Busia has 4,008.

Vihiga is is ranked fourth with 2,388 uncollected IDs, bringing the total number of uncollected IDs in Western to 21,506.

The County Commissioner urged residents to visit their respective National Registration Bureau offices at the sub-county level or Huduma Centres in Busia, Bungoma, Kakamega, and Vihiga to claim the IDs.

In November 2023, the Interior Ministry attempted to introduce a Sh1,000 fee for Kenyans applying for IDs and Sh2,000 for those seeking to replace the document.

Following uproar from Kenyans, the Ministry reviewed the cost of replacing an ID to Sh1,000 and Sh300 for new applications. These charges were, however, halted by the court pending the determination of a petition.

Delays in the production of IDs is mostly occasioned by logistical challenges including printing machine breakdown, inadequate printing material as well as the long process it takes to conduct background checks, particularly at border counties.

In Kenya, IDs remain a vital document needed to access e-citizen services of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Kenya Revenue Authority, National Transport and Safety Authority, Immigration, business registration, registration of marriage and Higher Education Loans Board.