- The state has withdrawn the controversial gazette notice that announced substantial increases in charges for critical documents such as identity cards, passports, and government staff badges.
- The State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services has also been instructed to conduct and complete public participation by December 10, 2023, to gather valuable feedback from the citizens.
The state has withdrawn the controversial gazette notice that announced substantial increases in charges for critical documents such as identity cards, passports, and government staff badges.
The move comes after public outcry and concerns over the financial burden this would place on citizens.
Kenya Gazette Notice No. 15239 of 2023, 15240 of 2023, 15241 of 2023, and 15242 of 2023, published by the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration, has been revoked to allow for more public participation on the matter.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Cabinet Secretary for the Interior and National Administration, Kithure Kindiki, clarified the government's position.
"The decision to withdraw the notices is to facilitate more extensive public involvement. We recognize the concerns raised by the citizens, and we want to ensure their voices are heard," Kindiki stated.
Instead of implementing the initially proposed increases, the Cabinet Secretary has published new intended charges, fees, and levies for the same services, slated to take effect on January 1, 2024.
The State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services has also been instructed to conduct and complete public participation by December 10, 2023, to gather valuable feedback from the citizens.
The rationale behind the proposed adjustments, as outlined by Kindiki, is to secure Kenya's self-reliance in financing the National Budget.
He emphasized the need to reduce reliance on unsustainable debt, which poses significant threats to the nation's sovereignty and the dignity of future generations.
Notably, the new intended charges, fees, and levies have been crafted to incorporate the views of the public received after the publication of the revoked Gazette Notices.
This somewhat demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity and responsiveness to the concerns raised by the citizens.
Addressing a specific concern, Kindiki stated, "On the particular issue of acquisition of National Identity Cards by previously not registered citizens, the Government shall defray the costs of the revised charges, fees, and levies through a waiver for indigent Kenyans who demonstrate inability to pay."
This move reflects a consideration of the economic challenges faced by certain segments of the population.
Last week, the High Court suspended the gazette notice after a Nakuru-based doctor Dr. Magare Gikenyi filed a petition challenging the arbitrary nature of the increases and their potential impact on ordinary Kenyans.
In light of these developments, the government aims to strike a balance between fiscal responsibility and the welfare of its citizens.
The withdrawal of the contentious gazette notice and the commitment to public participation underscore the importance of inclusive governance in shaping policies that directly impact the lives of the Kenyan people.