, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 13 – Controversy surrounding the issuance of Identity Cards (ID) continues as two government officials differ over the matter.
While Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang\’ maintains that no new IDs had been issued in the last six months, Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua said the issuance of the documents and work permits had not been stopped.
Dr Mutua said on Thursday that the only issue had been expiry of the contract for supply of required material for the generation of Identity Cards which he said was currently going through the tendering process.
"As a result there has been a slow down but not halting of issuance of identity cards," Dr Mutua said.
He said people were still getting their IDs issued even though the process was slower than before and not as comprehensive as it should be.
"Consultations are going on in government to speed up the process," the Government Spokesman added.
Mr Kajwang\’ had accused the Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura of indefinitely freezing the issuance of work permit and citizenship certificates.
"It\’s two years since the tender was cancelled and still no steps have been made in the direction of re-advertising. We have had many meetings. I have asked for some progress, and the Cabinet has been pushing but nothing seems to be going on," Mr Kajwang\’ had stated at an earlier press conference.
But Dr Mutua said the issuance of citizenship had been put on hold after a decision by a government workshop on strategies to eliminate corruption to allow for the review of the systems.
He said this would ensure there was no abuse and the national security was protected.
"As soon as the new systems are ready, the process will be restarted," he assured.
"It\’s very important to note that people who are here as foreigners just like in any other country, they are supposed to either be here under a certain visa as visitors or immigrants who are here may be for a short time or here as refugees," he explained.
He said that the issuance of citizenship was still under review in an effort to ensure the process was more transparent and efficient.
"Matters of immigration especially issuance of identity permits and citizenship are very important and key to ensure the security, harmony and development of any country and the government wishes to have a transparent system that will serve the public faster and better," Dr Mutua said during his weekly press briefing.
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