Lack of e-Passports to Bar Kenyans from Travelling Overseas
The Kenyan government through the Public Service office issued an order barring the State offices and civil servants from traveling abroad in the event that one had no e-passport.
Making the announcement, the head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua said that “Considering that the machine-readable passport will cease to be a valid travel document with effect from September 1, 2019, any machine-readable passport is already outside the six months validity period.”
Last year, Kinyua had requested all public servants to make an effort of acquiring the e-passport before the end of February 2019.
“To avoid inconveniences that may be occasioned on account of the limited validity period of the machine-readable passports and in observance of the circular mentioned above, travel clearance should not be issued to officers who do not hold the e-passport,” Kinyua’s circular adds.
Currently, the servants have till September 1st for them to acquire the digital passports. However, the government has indicated that the deadline might also be extended to 2020.
The intentions for the extension were made clear by the Deputy President last December in Italy where he had met Kenyans living in the country. In the session, the DP said that only 400,000 out of the 2.5 million passport holders in Kenya had managed to acquire the vital document and hence the need to extend the deadline further to allow enough time for everyone.
On the other hand, there have been complaints from the citizens and travelers affected, arguing that the government is to blame for the delay as some of those who had applied the new e-passports haven’t been able to receive them a year later.
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