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Immigration to speed up passport delivery this week

The Department of Immigration has announced that it will fast-track the delivery of passports at all passport application centres from Monday to Friday.

In a notice, the department said the exercise will be in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Embu, Nakuru, Kisii and Kericho.

The department is urging applicants who have received notifications that their passports are ready for collection to take advantage of the exercise and collect their documents.

“To improve passport issuance, we have dedicated May 13 to May 18 to fast-track passport issuance at all passport application centres across the country. Applicants who have received notification that their passports are ready for collection are urged to take advantage of the exercise,” the notice said.

The directive comes days after the department announced the resumption of normal passport issuance operations after successfully resolving downtime in its application and collection systems.

The department suspended passport application and collection services after experiencing technical problems last week that affected passport application, receipt and collection services.

As of April 22, the government had implemented several measures to deal with the backlog that had built up during the outage.

New printers were purchased to speed up the printing of passports, while outstanding supplier invoices were paid promptly. According to the department, supply chain issues have been addressed to ensure smooth processing.

“We are pleased to inform all our customers that we have resumed normal passport issuing operations. We thank you for your patience and understanding during the period of downtime,” it said.

The announcement will be a relief to many Kenyans who have been waiting for passport services during the nearly 48-hour shutdown.

On May 7, Cabinet Secretary for Internal Affairs Professor Kithure Kindiki said engineers had been deployed to fix the problems.

The outage came just weeks after the successful acquisition of two new passport printing machines, which have already been delivered for installation at Nyayo House in Nairobi.

The Principal Secretary for Immigration and Citizenship, Prof Julius Bitok, said the new passports and digital IDs will make it easier for Kenyans to access registration documents.

He also said the increased production of the documents will increase the revenue generated through the e-Citizen platform to an average of Sh1 billion daily over the same period, boosting government coffers.

“We believe there are realistic targets based on the strategic improvements and investments we have made in our vital personal registration and documentation systems,” Prof Bitok said.

The new passport target is almost double the 533,000 issued in 2023, with the increased output based on the new machines’ combined printing capacity of 600 passports per hour. Their installation is expected to reduce the waiting time for passport issuance to less than 14 working days.

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