Eldoret, Garissa to get e-passport centres
1 months ago, 24 Apr 18:23
The Immigration department plans to set up electronic passport application and issuance centres in Eldoret, Garissa and selected missions abroad, Interior secretary Fred Matiang’i has told Parliament.
Dr Matiang’i said Immigration is rolling out the second phase of the e-Passport after successfully implementing the first phase in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
He told the National Assembly committee on Administration and National Security that the government started issuing the e-Passport on September 1, 2017 with a view to strengthening the integrity of the Kenya passport while at the same time conforming with global standards as stipulated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
“The e-Passports incorporates biometric features namely finger prints and facial features not included in passports previously issued,” Dr Matiang’i said while responding to questions filed by Soy MP Caleb Kositany.
Dr Kositany had asked the minister to explain circumstances that led to the closure of the immigration office in Eldoret and measures being undertaken to ensure that the it is re-opened.
Dr Matiang’i said the features in the e-Passport, together with the holder’s bio data, are stored in a micro chip which is legible by immigration authorities worldwide.
He said immigration offices in Eldoret are still open for other services except for application of passports.
“The office is fully manned with necessary manpower and resources,” he said, adding that the services will resume immediately the e-Passport system is introduced during the 2018/19 financial year.
Dr Matiang’i said there are no official transactions on matters of trade taking place at the boarder entry point between Kenya and Somalia.
He said the border was closed because of threats by Al-Shabaab insurgents who had continued to terrorise and cause fear among Kenyans. “The border was also closed to curb the proliferation of illegal arms. The border was closed in order to control illegal immigrants and prevent illegal border trade,” Dr Matiang’i said while answering questions by Mandera East MP Omar Maalim.
Mr Maalim had sought to know why, despite the closure of the border, economic and trade activities including importation and exportation of goods and movement of people were still going on.
He asked Dr Matiang’i to state the effect of importing uninspected goods including food and other consumables into the country.
“The border is porous and extreme measures have been taken which include deployment of security personnel at different points to minimise illegal importation,” Dr Matiang’i said.
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