NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24 – Kenyans who had lost their citizenship after adopting nationalities of other countries can now apply for dual citizenship, Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang’ has said.
Kajwang’ said on Tuesday that the forms were available at his ministry’s headquarters in Nyayo House, as well as at Kenyan embassies abroad.
“I saw some big advert saying that you cannot apply for your birth right, that could be true but if you had lost that birth right by surrendering it to acquire another citizenship, then you need to apply so that you gain it. It is provided for in the Constitution that you can regain it by applying,” the minister said.
He assured that the process would be swift, free of bureaucracy and would take only a day to acquire dual citizenship at a fee of Sh500.
The Constitution of Kenya 2010 guarantees that a citizen by birth does not lose citizenship by acquiring the citizenship of another country.
“We are expected to keep a record of all dual citizens so we expect that after you apply, we will keep your name in that record. There are certain jobs that dual citizens cannot get- civil service jobs and state offices that are not open to dual citizens so we have to keep a record,” he explained.
At the same time, the minister said issuance of new generation identity cards will be done after the forthcoming general elections.
Kajwang’ said all Kenyans above the age of 18 would be expected to convert to the new generation IDs once they were in place.
These third generation Identity Cards will have more security features and personal details than the current ones.
“It will be prudent not to introduce it before the elections so that people can go to the elections with the second generation and then immediately after that we launch the new generation,” he said.
On the issuance of existing IDs to new applicants, he said the ministry was prepared to issue about five million new cards before the next election.
“The only thing that was slowing us down was money for mobile registration- to move from location to location- but now we are in that process,” he said.
He added that the ministry would get Sh300 million in the supplementary budget and the Cabinet had already approved another Sh1.3 billion for issuance of Identity Cards which would be released after the next budget in June.
“We are on top of things. If the elections are done in December, we will still be within limits, if it is done in March, we will even be better off,” Kajwang’ stated.
He was addressing the media where he also announced the acquisition of a new bus at a cost of Sh4.2 million to be used by airport immigration staff.