The acting Director General of Immigration Services Evelyn Cheluget on Monday 28th August announced the new measures to improve the issuance of passports.
Addressing immigration staff at Nyayo House, Cheluget said that the changes will bolster the processing and issuance of travel documents and effectively address delays that have sparked agitation from the public.
Cheluget also announced that beginning this week, the workforce will be increased and some officers will be deployed abroad.
She further said that additional counters will also be set aside for emergency cases, day and night shifts shall be introduced from Monday to Sunday and applications will now be received from 7:00 am to 8:30 pm.
Other remedies include acquiring new booklets, repairing and purchasing new machines that will allow for 24/7 passport printing.
“We are working hard, the passport section has been working on shifts, we have dedicated counters for urgent cases and all regional heads to boost staff in the urgent counters,” said Chegulet.
The changes comes amid a backlog that has made Kenyans question why the Immigration Department takes ages to process passports, a process that should take 10 to 15 days.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki last week fired a warning at the department, vowing to clean up Nyayo House once and for all.
“I will clean up Nyayo House once and for all. We will seal off Nyayo House and name it a scene of crime. How do Kenyans cue from 6 a.m.? It won’t be business as usual. We must clean up Nyayo house,” said Kindiki.
According to Kindiki, the passport backlog currently stands at 58,000, with the Department of Immigration and Citizen Services processing approximately 5,000 passports daily.