NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 14 – The government has revoked Kenyan citizenship for 104 individuals of different nationalities issued within the last five years.
Ministry of Interior Secretary Joseph ole Lenku said on Thursday that the decision follows the discovery that the citizenships were acquired through questionable means.
He pointed out that the move is part of the government’s efforts to curb the issuance of crucial documents through fraudulent means to foreigners.
“I wish to inform you that I have revoked 104 citizenship documents which we established were fraudulently acquired. The power to revoke citizenship is vested on the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government under Article 17 of the Constitution of Kenya (2010) and Section 21 of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act No 12 of 2012,” he said.
Lenku further stated that legal action will also be taken against those who had irregularly acquired Kenyan citizenship and also those who helped them acquire the vital documents since it undermined the country’s security.
He appealed to those charged with the responsibility of issuing the essential documents to strictly comply with the law and warned that stern action will be taken on anyone found flouting laid down regulations.
“Every nation in the world protects the sanctity of its citizenship documents. I have directed officers involved in the issuance of birth certificates, identification cards, passports, and work permits to strictly follow the law. Any officer who fails will be doing so at his or her own peril,” he warned.
Last month, the government announced plans to carry out an audit of ID cards and passports issued in the country in the last two years.
The Interior Secretary said the process was meant to flush out all those who have been issued with illegal passports and other identification documents.
His sentiments were echoed by Interior Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo during an earlier briefing. “We are looking at all the areas including the issuance of ID cards. The constitution is very clear that if you acquire any documents through fraud, the minister can cancel it,” he stated.
He in the meantime emphasised that the government has linked all border points through broadband which ensures that data can be accessed in real-time from a central source.
He pointed out that the next phase of the technology will be the installation of CCTV cameras at all border entry points and major cities in the country.
“This has significantly enhanced security for our people and the Government will continue investing more in modern technology as security challenges evolve. This is a continuous process especially in the area of analytics,” he stated.
He further stressed that the process of digitizing all security registries will eliminate fraud and corruption.
“To deal with crime effectively, the government has embarked on the process of digitizing all security registries such as Occurrence Books (OBs), birth certificates, identification cards, passports and work permits,” he said.
“As I had stated earlier, the process of cleaning up Government Departments involved in issuance of these critical documents has begun and is not about to end. It will continue until the last rotten apple is removed so that we have a clean and secure process,” he stated.