Kindiki promises to sack corrupt officials over passport printing debacle

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki in a meeting with immigration officials.
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Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has promised to remove from service corrupt officials at the Department for Immigration and Citizen Services orchestrating the passport printing debacle.

In a statement on Friday, February 23, 2024, Kindiki said those found culpable will consequently be held personally accountable by prosecution and surcharged.

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“Many years of low investment in the passport production infrastructure, piling supplier debts, and corrupt practices continue to undermine the Government’s program initiated last year to transform the State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services. Many Kenyans continue to experience pain and frustration as they seek passports to facilitate their movement beyond our borders for whatever reason,” Kindiki said.

Kindiki takes responsibility

Kindiki, who agreed to “take responsibility” for the slow pace of reforms, and the prevailing systemic inefficiencies.

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“Many of our people have lost employment opportunities, while many others cannot travel for medical care, education, business or leisure. The prevailing state of affairs is inexcusable, considering that it is the right of every Kenyan to acquire citizenship documents, including travel documents. As the Cabinet Secretary on whose role issuance of passports falls, I take responsibility for the slow pace of reforms, and the prevailing systemic inefficiencies,” he added.

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki in a meeting with immigration officials. PHOTO/@KindikiKithure/X

He says arrangements have been made to secure the required funds and settle the outstanding supplier debts.

Also, a crackdown was launched on Friday to flush out corrupt officials in the department, which has thousands of pending passport applications.

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“The Government undertakes to conclusively resolve this matter and create efficiency and timely service delivery in the shortest time possible. Beginning this morning, a crackdown has been commenced to identify all corrupt officials. Those found culpable will be removed from service, and held personally accountable by prosecution and surcharged. I respectfully appeal for a little more patience from the people of Kenya to conclusively resolve this matter,” he added.

In the recent past, Kenyans have been forced to wait for months to get their passports as Nyayo House, the nerve centre of the Immigration Department, experiences challenges such as corrupt officials, breakdown of printing machines and shortage of printing materials.

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