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Kenyans protest tough passport renewal rules

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The Immigration department Thursday came under fire from the online community after citizens protested stringent requirements for applicants seeking e-passports, whose August 31 acquisition deadline is fast-approaching.

Using the #AskImmigrationKE Twitter session, Kenyans on Twitter questioned why they needed to fulfill certain requirements they had while applying for their old passports.

The department requires users to submit the online application forms, three copies of the invoices, their original identity card as well as a copy, their old passport and a copy, three passport size photos, and a copy of a recommender’s ID card.

It is on the recommender’s option—who should be either a lawyer, a religious leader, a doctor, a banker, or a civil servant — that irked most Kenyans.

Denis Waswa protested; “The Immigration Department has a lot of redundancy to say the least! Surely, why would you need a recommender when you are a citizen of sound mind and in possession of legit ID card and an old passport? Come on!”

BBC Africa Business editor Larry Madowo fired on Twitter: “Kenya still requires a ‘Recommender’ to get or renew a passport, in the year of our Lord 2019.”

He opined: “After I’ve applied and paid online for a renewal, the only thing I should submit is the old passport. But in Kenya, you constantly have to prove that you belong, to your own government. You’re never worthy.”

READ ALSO:   US reverses digital passport visa rule

BACKLASH

Many others like Mr Madowo, and Mr Waswa questioned why they needed to get specific people as recommenders, and why they needed them in the first place, especially when all they were doing was replacing their old passports with new ones.

A Twitter user, Moreen Okuta wrote; “If I have the old generation passport why go through the hassle to get an e-passport like I am getting one for the first time? You need to make people’s lives easier!”

Immigration Director-General Alexander Muteshi, however, insisted that the process has to be followed to ensure compliance with international regulations.

He also defended the need for a recommender. “The e-passport will be valid for 10 years and a lot can changes in 10 years, so the recommender update is necessary for every renewal. As for why those recommenders, we cannot ask you to go a person whose credibility is not known,” he said.

The immigration boss said the deadline for acquiring e-passports remains August 31, 2019, but a possible extension is being considered due to an expected last minute rush.

“The long queues at Nyayo House are because the deadline is fast-approaching and so to hasten the process, we have deployed officers to man the queues and ensure they move fast.

READ ALSO:   US reverses digital passport visa rule

“In two months, we will have an online portal where applicants can track their passport application and get to know when it’s ready for collection as opposed to coming to queue to find out the status of their application,” Mr Muteshi said.

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Africa

VIDEO: Now DP Ruto, Aisha Jumwa tell Matiang’i off and call for his resignation

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Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto has said all those mentioned in the latest fake gold scam should carry their own crosses and desist from dragging the name of the president into the scandal.

Without dropping any names, Ruto said that “the political conmen had now tuned to gold.”

Walipanda ndege hapa na kwenda huko Dubai na kufanya maneno yao. Wabebe mizigo yao na waache kumuingiza rais kwa mambo hayo,” said Ruto during a fundraiser at a church in Endebess, Trans Nzoia County,.

Meanwhile, Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, a close associate of Mr Ruto, has asked for the immediate resignation of Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matian’gi.

A section of Jubilee MPs havealso told ODM leader Raila Odinga to state what he knows about the fake gold scandal.

They said Interior CS Fred Matiang’i should also explain how the country’s security was protecting the premises with fake gold.

Speaking  on Saturday when they accompanied Deputy President William Ruto during the launch of various development projects in Trans Nzoia, the lawmakers asked Matiang’i to state what he knows about it.

The leaders were Governors Patrick Khaemba (Trans Nzoia) and Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu), MPs Robert Pukose (Endebess), Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Janet Nangabo (Women Rep, Trans Nzoia), Rahab Mukami (Women Rep, Nyeri), Mathias Robi (Kuria West), Janet Jepkemboi (Turbo), Gabriel Tongoyo (Narok West), Fred Kapondi (Mt Elgon) and Owen Baya (Kilifi North).

READ ALSO:   US reverses digital passport visa rule

This as it emerged that the Director of Public Prodecution, Nordin Haji, had defended President Kenyatta and former PM Raila Odinga.

Mr Haji issued a statement on Saturday about a recording circulated on social media that suggests that some information was relayed to President Kenyatta, Mr Odinga and Interior minister Fred Matiang’i, and that discussions followed.

He condemned the release and circulation of the recording, saying, “Such claims and their circulation through social media, specifically through leaked phone recordings in today’s age of real-time, borderless publishing, are alarmist and may needlessly cause disaffection.

He warned that “unless all facts are obtained and analysed, it is irresponsible and possibly unlawful to publish such material.”

SPEEDY PROBE

Mr Haji said he had personally received complaints from victims who said the person behind the scam had been invoking the President’s name in dealings and conversations.

“Having realised that they were conned on the availability of the gold, and the misleading knowledge and involvement of the President, the former Prime Minister and CS Matiang’i, they resolved to [file] a report [with] Kenyan authorities and cooperate with law enforcement in unearthing the under-dealings.”

The DPP said he had thus directed Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai to speed up the probe; he said the file should be forwarded to him in the next seven days.

READ ALSO:   US reverses digital passport visa rule

Mr Haji also asked members of the public with helpful information to report it to authorities.

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VIDEO: Vote for our very own top Diaspora Gospel Artiste Naomi Karanja

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It’s back.

The 2019 edition of Groove Awards with Safaricom event is officially here. As was the case last year and years before that, the awards will celebrate excellence in Gospel music in Kenya and across Africa.

Celebrated Gospel Artiste Naomi Karanja from Atlanta, Georgia, is one of the finalists in the Diaspora Artiste of the Year Category. Please take a little of your time to vote for here here.

Since 2004, Groove Awards with Safaricom has celebrated excellence in gospel music in Kenya and across Africa. The awards, entering their 14th year in Kenya (and 6th in Rwanda), are this nation’s most prestigious and recognized Gospel music awards event, enjoying regional resonance and relevance.

Groove seeks to promote gospel music as a message of hope and an avenue to address issues affecting young people across the African continent with a key focus on its main objective – “Shaping culture through positive content and entertainment.”

Groove Awards has seen over 1,800 artists/groups nominated and almost 400 Groove statuettes presented to gospel musicians in Kenya and beyond.

The Venue and date for this Year’s Gala will be communicated in due course.

 

READ ALSO:   US reverses digital passport visa rule
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Embassy in US writes to Kenyan comedian inviting him to perform in Baltimore, Maryland

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Apopular Kenya comedian has been invited to the United States to perform at this year’s   Makadara Day celebrations, organized by the Diaspora Baltimore Community.

In a letter by Deputy Chief of Mission, David Gacheru, the comedian is invited to The Hermes Center of St.Demetrios 2504 Cub Hill Road, Parkville, 21234 to perform to the Diasporans on June 8, 2019.

“To have you as one of our guests would be an honor to the people who will be there and the whole organization,” read part of the letter.

According to the embassy,  the event is attended by a huge number of Diasporans every year.

An excited Omondi took to his social media platforms toannounce the development.

“We need private jet guys!!! Baltimore see you in two weeks,” he wrote.

 

In Kenya, the Madaraka Day celebrations will be held at the Narok stadium, where the committee chairman, PS Karanja Kibichio, had visited over the weekend.

He was visiting the place to inspect how prepared the County was ahead of the celebrations which will be held on June 1, 2019.

The Principal Secretary assured the public that the stadium would be ready by next week.

READ ALSO:   US reverses digital passport visa rule
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