Close to 60,000 Kenyans who’ve applied for passports since March have been left in limbo after printing equipment broke down – and the government has now announced that it will borrow machines from private investors to clear clear the backlog.
The problem isn’t just that Kenya’s current passport printing machines are outdated, says Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration Kithure Kindiki. There are also corrupt agents who extort bribes from applicants.
He told parliament last week that he would carry out a clean-up of Kenya’s immigration agency, and on Monday it was announced the daily passport printing rate would rise to 5,000.
In recent months, government inefficiencies have led to delays issuing identity cards, drivers’ licences, birth certificates and police clearance certificates, sparking widespread frustration and discontent among Kenyans.