It is a well-organised and complicated syndicate of cartels involving both senior and junior officers.
Top officers at the registration bureau have devised deliberate ways to delay or deny issuance of birth certificates.
As a result, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i says an ICT problem had been deliberately created to slow down or jam processes, creating an artificial backlog so that anyone who wants to be fast racked has to pay a bribe in order to jump the queue.
He said those who don’t, remain a frustrated lot, suffering the consequences of endless excuses and months of waiting for their documents.
To add an insult to the injury, the cartels conspire with various hospitals where corruption starts at birth.
In this regard, parents are lured into paying hospital administrators an exorbitant fee so that birth certificates are processed and distributed without scrutiny or authentication.
Dr Matiang’i, who, and his PS Karanja Kibicho, has been camping at the bureau for a week, on Friday said it was embarrassing to discover that a large number of Kenyans have had to encounter indignity in the hands of public servants.
“This racket primarily targets illegal immigrants seeking Kenyan citizenship through the backdoor,” Matiang’i said.
He said though these are two documents are critical documents in the life of citizens, the officers had conspired with IT staff to tamper with the ICT system.
As a result, some 24 senior officers have been arrested and will be arraigned in court on Monday.
Matiang’i said out of the 24 suspects, 20 are from various departments within the bureau while four are hospital staff from St. Francis Hospital.
This comes after two top officers from the department were last week interdicted over the same claims.
“We are here to demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that Kenyans get the service they deserve and shall not allow Kenyans to be preyed upon by corrupt individuals fleecing them at the most vulnerable moment of their lives,” he said.
Matiang’i was flanked by Kibicho, ICT CS Joe Mucheru, PS Jerome Ochieng’ and Inspector General of police Hillary Mutyambai.
“Government is about service delivery. We are to serve and not to humiliate and frustrate Kenyans. People cannot be lining here from 5 am and leave at 6 pm without being served,” he said.
Matiang’i said the cleanup will entail total a total overhaul of the system, which includes people, processes, procedures, hardware and software to improve accountability and efficiency of service.
He said amid efforts to clear backlog at the bureau, all Huduma Centre branches in Nairobi, now have the capacity to print Birth Certificates.
This means Citizens will no longer have to come to the Bishop house to receive follow up or receive their Birth Certificates.
Mucheru in his remarks said some 17 staff from the ICT ministry will be camping at the bureau throughout the weekend to ensure all services are digitised.
So far, Mucheru said since last week they have managed to digitise 32 million files.
He said they expect to clear the entire backlog before December 1.Do you have any story you would like to share? Email us at email@example.com and we will publish it. You can also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org