Court suspends the charges, PS apologizes for error on notice of new ID, passport charges

Justice Lawrence Mugambi of the High Court in Nairobi gave orders to stop the implementation of the new Identity card and passport charges that were announced in a gazette notice. This is after surgeon Magare Gikenyi from Nakuru filed a petition following Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki’s announcement that the issuance of ID cards would no longer be free.

Going forward, according to the notice, ID cards, which were obtained for free until now by first-time applicants, will be issued at the cost of 1,000 Kenyan shillings, while those seeking to replace a lost or damaged card will pay the same amount, as opposed to the 100 shillings currently in place.

For passports, the prices have also gone up for all categories, namely for ordinary, service and diplomatic passports. The new fee for a 34-page ordinary passport, for example, has gone up by 3,000 shillings, the 50-page ordinary passport fee has increased by 3,500 shillings, while the 66-page ordinary passport amount has witnessed a hike of 5,000 shillings.

The fees for replacing lost and damaged passports have respectively increased by 8,000 shillings and 10,000 shillings, as the gazette  indicates.

With regards to birth certificates, the application fee now moves from 50 shillings to 200 shillings, while the amount required to pay for corrections on either birth or death certificates have increased by 870 shillings.

Gikenya pointed out that the hiked prices are beyond the reach of a common citizen and since the documents are of equal importance, the court should issue an order to stop the implementation.

“A conservatory order be and is hereby issued suspending Gazette Notices No. 15239-15249 dated November 6, 2023, and any other document purporting to give authority to increase or review the charges/fees/levies specified therein pending the hearing and determination of the application inter-parties, ” the order read.

In addition to that the Principal Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, Roseline Njogu apologized for the anxiety that the gazette notice has caused to the people of Kenya especially Netizens.

In her X account, Roseline clarified that the details were inaccurately placed and that she had raised the matter to the Immigration Principal Secretary Julius Bitok who she said confirmed the same.

“Further to my last tweet, I have engaged with Immigration PS Julius Bitok. He has assured me that the Permanent Residence fees for children of Kenyan citizens were entered in error,” said the PS.

“This fee applies to children of foreigners seeking PR. As I had explained, children of a citizen acquire citizenship by birth.”

She backed up her apologies saying that the changes were unconstitutional since according to Article 14 (1) of the Kenyan constitution,

“A person is a citizen by birth if on the day of the person’s birth, whether or not the person is born in Kenya, either the mother or father of the person is a citizen.”

“Apologies for the mistake that has caused so much anxiety,” she said.

She further assured that measures to correct the flaws were put in place.


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