NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 25 – The government has now fired 15 senior and mid-level immigration officers following the Westgate terror attack.
Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Co-ordination of National Government Joseph ole Lenku says the officers were involved in the issuance of Kenyan documents to illegal immigrants.
Addressing journalist at Harambee House on Friday, Lenku said the action by the officers could endanger the security of the country.
“The government is committed to do everything in its power to ensure that Kenyans live in secure and peaceful environment,” he said.
He said they will appear in court to face the law once investigation of their activities is complete.
The Interior Secretary has also revealed that there will be a national wide purge in all government departments to wipe out corrupt government officials.
“For the avoidance of doubt, let me state this loud and clear; the purge that has started today will extend to many other government departments,” he declared.
He warned all those involved in corruption related activities and were in public service saying, “to all those who may have been part of the network facilitating issuance of Kenyan identification documents to illegal immigrants who turn out to be criminals, your days are numbered.”
In a bid to improve its efficiency, he said that 17 senior and experienced administration officers have been re-deployed to the department of immigration to help streamline its activities.
“These officers will help streamline, re-organize and revamp the Department of Immigration so that we do not have a recurrence of security lapses like we have seen in the past,” he pointed out.
Lenku also said the government will carry out an audit of ID cards and passports issued in the country in the last two years.
He said the process was meant to flush out all those who have been issued with illegal passports and other identification documents.
“The government is aware that some people have misused what is commonly known ‘waiting cards’ issued upon application for an Identity card,” he affirmed.
He revealed that there were 350,000 uncollected identity cards in the country.
As a result, Lenku said he had issued an order requiring all cards to be destroyed if not collected in the next three months.
He further said the government was seeking to amend the Registration of Persons Act to strengthen identification process before issuance of identity cards.
In addition, the government has commenced repatriation process of refugees in the country majority from Somalia.
Lenku says some of the refugees have abused the country’s hospitality to plan terror attacks.
“We have welcomed, with open arms, refugees fleeing from insecurity in neighbouring countries but as it has turned out, some of these refugees have abused our hospitality and kindness to plan and launch terror attacks from the safety of refugee camps,” he regretted.
“This cannot, and should not, be allowed to continue.”