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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:   Why you do not need to queue at 3am for e-passport – Govt

“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.

nation.co.ke

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Africa

Plane with 17 passengers on board crashes in DRC

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A passenger plane with about 17 passengers on board crashed on Sunday in the city of Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, killing several people, the provincial governor’s office said.

The plane, operated by the local company Busy Bee, crashed during takeoff for a flight to the city of Beni, North Kivu Governor Carly Nzanzu Kasivita’s office said in a statement.

The number of fatalities was not yet clear.Busy Bee was not available for comment.Air accidents are relatively frequent in Congo because of lax safety standards and poor maintenance. \All Congolese commercial carriers, including Busy Bee, are banned from operating in the European Union.

A cargo plane departing from the same airport crashed an hour after take-off in October, killing all eight passengers.

By Standard

READ ALSO:   Why you do not need to queue at 3am for e-passport – Govt
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Africa

Why school kept news of student’s family members’ death a secret for 22 days

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A school in Tanzania decided not to inform a 16-year-old girl that her entire family of five had been wiped out by flash floods last month to enable her complete her examinations.

Anna Zambi’s parents and siblings were on their way to visit her in school for prayer day ahead of her final secondary school examinations when they met their death.

TRAGIC INCIDENT

A private car in which they were travelling in was swept away in floods following incessant rains in Handeni District, Tanga Region.

According Tanzanian daily, The Citizen, the school chose to keep the tragic incident a secret to enable Zambi complete her exams in peace.

The incident happened just two days before the start of the examinations.

The head teacher of Mother Teresa of Calcuta Girls Secondary School revealed how he managed to ensure the student was kept in the dark over the tragedy that took the lives of her parents and three other siblings on October 26.

GRAVEYARDS

In breaking communication at the school, he said, all students were no longer allowed to watch TV on the pretext that it was examination time and that they must always be busy with their books.

On Monday, almost a month after the incident, she traveled back home to be with her family after finishing the exams, only to learn that her parents and siblings were no more.

READ ALSO:   US reverses digital passport visa rule

It was not until Saturday, November 16, when a wave of grief and deep sorrow rolled through relatives and mourners who had gathered for hours to receive Zambi and take her to the graveyards of her parents and three siblings.

At the same time, the Tanzanian government has pledged to support the bereaved teenager, saying that it would pay for her psychological rehabilitation and education.

By NN

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Africa

Invitation to the African Girls Hope Foundation Annual Gala happening this Saturday in Atlanta

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BY BEN KAROMO

African Girls Hope Foundation (AGHF) annual Gala is happening this Saturday at the Kenyan American Community Church in Marietta, Georgia, USA. AGHF  is a non-profit founded by Grace Faraja, a former refugee from the 1990s civil war that ravaged the DRC. She started the foundation to help educate girls in rural Congo caught in the ongoing civil unrest, poverty and disease.

As a former beneficiary of a full scholarship that changed her life, Grace believes providing an education to orphaned and less privileged girls can open a world of opportunities to them and help then end the cycle of poverty and early marriages.

This year, AGHF’s aim is to provide full-year scholarships to 120 girls at a cost of $29 per month per girl. We are seeking your help to raise funds to meet the overall goal of $34,000 for the year 2019-2020.

We ask you to help us meet this goal by donating on our website at https://africangirlshopefoundation.com/.

We prayerfully desire to support the education of 120 girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya. With hope that God will open doors to other African countries in the near future. We have partnered with a local pastor running a school in the village of Mulenge in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

READ ALSO:   Why you do not need to queue at 3am for e-passport – Govt

Our partner has identified numerous girls in the village who are orphans of father and mother. Girls selected as AGHF beneficiaries are 65% of orphans of both parents.

Atlanta residents, please join us for our Annual Fundraising Gala dinner, to be held on November 9th at the Kenyan American Community Church KICC in Marietta, Georgia. Dinner and parking will be provided.

Below are some of the girls who need our help:

 

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