IDs, passports to be issued within a day, says Matiang’i

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 22:45 |
Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai and National Police Service Commission chairman Eliud Kinuthia during the security conference in Mombasa, yesterday. Photo/PD/BONFACE MSANGI

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i yesterday unveiled a 10-point plan that could see Kenya step up counter-terrorism efforts in the wake of renewed Al Shabaab attacks and bolster reforms geared at slaying the ghost of corruption in his ministry.

At the top of the agenda is the war on terror, police reforms, automation of citizen services, war on corruption and drugs and countering rising insecurity in universities, among others.

Matiang’i said the reforms would lead to Kenyans being issued with passports, birth certificates and other documents under the Immigration and Civil Registry departments within a day of applying.

“By July 1, this year (2020), issuance of ID cards, birth and death certificates and passports shall be a same-day service except for applications originating from outside of Nairobi and abroad,” he said.

Anti-terror war

Matiang’i said Kenyans have been complaining of encountering problems while trying to obtain the crucial documents.

“Last year, I interacted with citizens at their most vulnerable moments and the pain and misery I saw them go through is unacceptable in public service,” he said.

On terrorism, the CS directed Chiefs and other security officers to make the war against terror “painful” by cascading it down to people aiding attackers, adding that “terrorism must be struck a decisive and final blow.”

The minister noted continued weaknesses of governance structures in Somalia had seen the resurgence of al Shabaab and other criminal groups in the Coast and north eastern Kenya.

Addressing the annual security review and planning conference for top security officers in Mombasa yesterday, Matiang’i said no effort will be spared to “decimate terrorism”, warning that those who collaborate with terrorists will be met with the same force as the attackers.

Present were Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, National Intelligence Service (NIS) Director-General Philip Kameru and the Kenya Coast Guards Service boss Vincent Loonena. 

“The challenge we have been facing in fight against terrorism is the level of collaboration, cooperation and at times collusion by local communities with terror gangs and terror groups,” the CS warned.

 “Whilst we have and shall continue to have respect for the rule of law and human rights, when clean up time comes, we shall make no distinction between the enemy and those who harbour them.

We shall spare no efforts or resources in attainment of freedom from fear. May this serve as a clear warning to harbourers and coordinators, you shall not be spared.”

The minister directed administration officers, particularly the chiefs, to take stock of people living in their neighbourhood, insisting they shall be held responsible for the presence of criminal elements in their jurisdiction.

On the ongoing reforms in the police sector, Matiang’i said the government will continue to commit resources to ensure changes are effected to improve efficiency and effectiveness of the police service. 

Harmonised command

He directed that all human resource and personnel issues be moved to the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) while operational matters remain in the ministry and National Police Service. 

Already, there is harmonised command and over 7,000 officers have undergone further training in various police training colleges.

Automation of citizen processes including the electronic Occurrence Book (OB) and the case file management systems were work in progress.

There is also automation of the human resource management and welfare procedures for officers including pension, insurance, housing and remuneration. 

The CS directed Interior PS Kibicho to come up with a help line within two weeks to be used by Kenyans to report cases of bribery and delayed services at citizen service centres.

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