Nine weeks to the deadline of acquiring ePassport, Kenyans are camping at the immigration office in Nyayo house despite the early morning biting cold and the long queues that can be very frustrating.
The government started issuing e-passport on 1st of September 2017. When that notification was issued, it also indicated that people with machine-readable passports will be faced out on 1st September 2019. According to Immigration Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa, since the inception of the e-passport, approximately one million have been issued with the document.
Last minute rash problems saw most Kenyans take to social media to express their dissatisfaction at how the government is handling the matter.
“I queued for nine hours at Nyayo House to get a passport. The government should do something about it,” complained one.
The continuous complaints caught the ears of Mr Kihalangwa who respond to the matter with possible solutions to the mess.
“For the last two months, we have observed an influx of Kenyans wanting to apply for the passport. This has ended up as having long queues, people coming to our offices at 4:30 am and not all of them have passed. The deadline for the machine-readable passports is only for those holding the passport who will be given first priority. Others can apply for the passports at their own time.
“The other priority cases are medical, students travelling to study overseas, the Muslim faithful who will be going for Haji, an officer of the government called to attend a meeting or a seminar, but they will have to come with supportive documents for consideration,” he noted.
Kenyans have been urged to visit other ePassport applications centres opened recently by the government in Eldoret, Nakuru, Embu and Kisii, rather than the three main centres in Nairobi Nyayo, Mombasa and Kisumu which causes, too much crowding and unnecessary congestion, weighing down the whole process.