Tuesday, 16 July 2013

It will take you five days to get a passport- Waikenda

Director of Immigration Services Jane Waikenda has said applicants with proper documents will get a passport after five days July 16, 2013. FILE
Director of Immigration Services Jane Waikenda has said applicants with proper documents will get a passport after five days July 16, 2013. FILE   

It will now take only five days for one to be issued with a national passport, the government has announced.
Director of Immigration Services Jane Waikenda said applicants with proper documents will get a passport in five days, down from 10.
Previously, it took more than a month to get a passport before it was reduced to 21 and later 10 days as the government put in place Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) programme.
Ms Waikenda, who is overseeing the restructuring of the department, said the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is also auditing it and reviewing integrity tests of officers.
She initiated the audit and testing "to counter the weak links in the department". Ms Waikenda said the move is meant to seal all loopholes and counter corruption.
A major reshuffle of immigration officers has also been done to address complacency in the service, Ms Waikenda said, adding that the changes will be done regularly.
To reduce the porous nature of Kenya’s borders, the department is in the process of building more border control points as well as revamping the existing ones, Ms Waikenda said.
Special counter
Ms Waikenda said a special counter for urgent passport applications for travellers going for pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia and medical treatment has been established.
“This will ensure there are no delays which may inadvertently lock out travellers on religious pursuits and will also encourage applicants not to compromise officers due to the urgency of the application,” Ms Waikenda said.
Ms Waikenda, who took over at the helm of the department last month, said a public communications desk to cater to all enquiries pertaining to immigration procedures is being established. The desk will be located at the ground floor on the North wing of Immigration Headquarters at Nyayo House.
She directed all immigration officers to be always in full uniform and display their name tags to guard against unscrupulous conmen.
“This will make it easier for members of the public to easily identify officers for expedient service as well as dealing with brokers masquerading as immigration officers, thereby giving a bad image to the Immigration Department,” Ms Waikenda said.
Expedient response
Ms Waikenda said she is setting up a Twitter and Facebook account to interact with members of the public on issues touching on immigration for expedient response and feedback.
The director called on staff to ensure patriotism and integrity.
“Officers are urged to uphold the Code of Regulations and Code of Ethics and conduct themselves in a manner beyond reproach. The Director is categorical that officers found wanting will be weeded out and discipline will be meted out swiftly,” she said.
The director also gave a hotline number 020 231 0090 for use by members of the public for immediate feedback.