President William Ruto Extends His Usual Empty Rhetorical Promises To Diaspora.

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By Arch. Dr. D.K Gitau for the Diaspora Times.

In a speech typical of his specific timeline empty promises, President William Ruto, while addressing Kenyans living in USA this time, openly went unrealistic and promised them documentation services, including Biometrics, to be available in six months at close proximity to where they reside.

He told the attentive gathering that the Government would expand the current digital online services from three hundred to five thousand in six months’ time.

This means that one can apply for a passport, including Biometrics, from anywhere in the USA or within close proximity without traveling to the consular centers.

The USA has two fully equipped consular centers, one in DC and the other in Los Angeles. When the new Biometric passport came into effect, it took more than four years to equip one consular center fully.

The issuing of passports and IDS cannot be entirely done online, because, one has to visit a center to be taken Biometrics by an officer trained to do the same. There are two ways of doing the same. First, the Government can equip the centers or contract agents that can do so like it’s the case in America. Passports are sensitive documents, and agents that do it, like in America, are mostly affiliated with the Federal Government. In America, the post office does most of the passport issuing, and they have fully equipped offices to do the same through appointments. If the Kenya Government contracts agencies, the same are not free and will cost a lot of money and logistics. They must also be linked to the Government vital documents portal to verify those needing services and to relay the outcome.

In this case, the President’s hoodwinking promise is a bridge too far, as services like passports will require a lot of logistics and capital to do the same. If we only take Biometrics, the Kenya Government will establish those centers and equip them with personnel, which requires enormous funding that may need legislative approval.

The same cannot be done in six months, as he implied in the meeting while citing North Carolina as an example and may not even be possible during his term in office.

Those and many other promises, are just hot air to please his audience, but one wonders why America, in the first place, where people don’t even participate fully in Kenya elections.

We all the same applause digital services and can only wish that in the future one will be able to renew his or her passport anywhere in US online or by traveling less than ten miles. In the meantime, just continue expecting and assume the high-flown speech was just to avoid questions on the long delays in processing passports.

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