Connect with us

Africa

Just like at home, getting passport for Kenyans abroad is a tough task

Published

on

Like many Kenyans living abroad, Justin K Wangila in Tanzania was excited by the announcement in Nairobi in 2017 that the government would start issuing “new generation” passports.

“This was a dream come true because, for a long time, most of us Kenyans living in other countries, especially those in East Africa, had yearned for an East African Community passport … we were in a hurry to apply,” Mr Wangila said in an interview with the Sunday Nation.

Mr Wangila was told the application process started online after one opened an account on the internet portal e-Citizen.

“That is where problems start. I wasn’t applying for a passport for the first time. I was renewing one. But this process makes you start from scratch because, like in my case, they had none of my records,” he said.

ADVICE

He needed several documents, such as his national identity (ID) card number, his personal identification number (PIN) and his parents’ ID numbers.

“I got stuck because I did not have my late father’s ID. In its absence, the process required the number on the death certificate.

“My father died a long time ago and I wasn’t even sure a death certificate had been issued. I was forced to take some days off from work to travel home to try and find my father’s death certificate,” he added.

READ ALSO:   Shock as Kenyan man in US dies suddenly

Having gone through the process, this is what Mr Wangila wants his diaspora compatriots to bear in mind as they seek new passports:

“All spaces must be filled on the form. Payment is via M-Pesa only. You must be sponsored by a lawyer, pastor/imam or a banker. The sponsor has to provide a copy of their ID.

“And, finally, you have to personally deliver the documents to Immigration Department at Nyayo House, Nairobi, where you’ll find extraordinarily long queues.”

CONVENIENCE

These challenges are not unique to the Kenyan diaspora, those in the country go through them too.

To address this, the Department of Immigration announced early in the week that it would open new digital passport issuance points across the country and abroad to ease congestion at Nyayo House.

Immigration Director-General Alex Muteshi said the centres would be opened in Kisumu, Mombasa, Kisii, Nakuru, Embu and Eldoret, as well as in the US and the United Arab Emirates.

“We are opening new locations in Kisii, Nakuru, Eldoret and Embu and expect the current pressure at Nyayo House to ease,” Mr Muteshi said.

“Those in the diaspora do not need to travel back here as they will be able to acquire passports from our offices in Paris, Berlin, Washington, London, Dubai and Johannesburg in the next two months.”

READ ALSO:   Kenyan woman in Diaspora told to shut up over her "life abroad is hell" comments

“The announcement of this department does not in any way solve the diaspora problem. Passport renewals have been taking four to eight months to be processed, not only in America, but also in most embassies across the world,” said Mr D.K Gitau, founder of Kenyan Parents in US, an organisation that was once contracted by the embassy in Washington DC to help in the issuance of IDs and passports.

COST

Mr Gitau said the embassy in DC told him biometric kits would only be available at two consular centres — Los Angeles and DC.

“If that is the case, it will cost each one a minimum of $750 (Sh75,000) for travel and accommodation, assuming you live in Seattle, Washington or Boston, Massachusetts, and you have to travel to either DC or LA to process a passport,” he said.

Mr Gitau said the embassy has been trying to partner with his organisation to cut that cost.

“Kenyan parents in US organised a successful ID and passport event in Georgia on July 21 and 22, 2018, where more than 250 people were processed. But then some people claimed that the organisation was defrauding them, so the process stopped,” Mr Gitau said.

Ms Bliss Park, a resident of Dallas, Texas, said if the processing centres will remain in DC and LA, it means the consulates will be even more congested.

READ ALSO:   Giant US media service company Netflix hires Kenyan woman as a manager

“The information on the embassy website is so sketchy. They promise 6-8 weeks. That’s the running joke,” she said.

Ms Felisina Ndwiga, a former officer at the Kenyan embassy in DC, agrees that trying to process a passport in the US is challenging.

Source: Daily Nation, By Chris Wamalwa

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. ISAAC KINUNGI

    February 23, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    I Mr Gitau gave Chris and example of someone living far away from consular centers DC or LA Such states are those in the middle like Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas etc.
    Those living there counting day lost and cost of travel was minimum $750. Its so costly exercise and if one has an American passport, its easier to pay $50 dollars as you will spend less the few times you go to Kenya other than wasting $750. We urge the Government to let the Embassy travel to States and our organization called Kenya Parents in USA can organize and Kenyans will only spend $75 dollars to cater for Embassy travel and accommodation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Africa

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

Published

on

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-based Kenyan man holds 3 Pre-weddings in quick succession, fiancée says wedding must go on

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:   BREAKING NEWS: 18 year old man arrested in Alabama over killing of Mike Mulwa

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

Continue Reading

Africa

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

Published

on

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:   Kenyan woman in Diaspora told to shut up over her "life abroad is hell" comments
Continue Reading

Africa

Embassy in US writes to Kenyan comedian inviting him to perform in Baltimore, Maryland

Published

on

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:   Kenyan-born US lawyer sues blogger for defamation, malice
Continue Reading

Trending

error: Content is protected !!