The Diaspora National Assembly ( DNA) , has expressed outrage over requirements needed in order to register with E-Citizen, a government service portal that provides options for many citizens that need government services.
Among the requirements needed to register with E citizen while applying for e-passports is the Kenyan phone number, which many Kenyans in the Diaspora do not have. According to DNA, the Kenyan government should provide alternative options like email or phone numbers used in their countries of residence.
Additionally, the requirement that children of Kenyans living in the Diaspora who are by extension Kenyan citizens, must have a PIN number in order to apply for their passport is completely absurd. DNA insists that children and Students who may not need a PIN Number after all, should be exempted from such requirements.
Given the expansive nature of the Continental North America; especially the United states and Canada, The DNA is of the opinion that specific locations with a larger populations of Kenyans should be identified in which E passport application, processing or issuance can be done. The idea that Kenyans living in the Diaspora must travel to Washington D.C for finger printing is incomprehensible. Many are wondering why such services cannot be contracted to a third-party company in the U.S.A at a fee to be paid by the applicant. This would speed up the application of the passport and collection of biometric data that can be later submitted to Nairobi electronically.
Among locations proposed for passport application processing and other government services include, Atlanta, Georgia, Chicago, Illinois, Houston, Texas, Dallas, Texas ,Seattle Washington, Minneapolis Minnesota, Boston, Massachusetts, New York and Washinton, D.C. In Canada, Toronto in Ontario, and or any other city proposed by Kenyans living in Canada can be included. Such should be the case for Europe, Middle East, Australia and China.
Just like Banks and other financial institutions have Diaspora Banking Department, the DNA is proposing the creation of the Diaspora Department at the ministry of Immigration or a Diaspora Desk that will help track and monitor all applications from the Diaspora. This will help answer and address pertinent issues particular to the Diaspora .As things stand now, it’s hard to get any information about the status of your passport application with many rampant cases of lost paperwork.
The DNA is requesting that the Cabinet Secretary for internal; security, Dr. Fred Matiangi should intervene and help resolve pending cases of Diaspora passports ID’S and Regaining Certificates of Citizenship applications which are still in limbo.
The Diaspora National Assembly is dedicated to addressing the many challenges faced by Kenyans living abroad. It’s the mission of the Diaspora National Assembly not only to bring attention to these issues but also to offer alternative solutions.
The DNA stands ready to work with the government in offering suggestions on how to address the E-Passport and other immigration related issues as well as issues that are at the core of Diaspora concern.
On behalf of DNA Task Force
Dr. Isaac Gitau
Diaspora National Assembly