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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,2ND NOV 2019-Huduma Centre branches in Nairobi can now print birth certificates in a move meant to curb corruption at the Civil Registration Bureau.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi said the expanded service is expected to reduce queues and waiting time, in a clear departure from what was a norm at the civil registration offices based in Bishop house.
It comes at a time 20 civil registration officials and four officials at a Nairobi health facility have been arrested, in a move meant to dismantle cartels soliciting unauthorized fees from applicants before issuing the crucial documents.
Already, CS Matiangi said the Bishop House branch has undergone a total makeover, with clear signage, dignified customer service and seating spaces for clients.
“We have implemented a total overhaul of the system, which include people, processes, procedures, hardware and software to improve accountability and efficiency of service. We have since seen a 300 per cent rise in the speed of processing both birth and death certificates,” he said in a statement on Friday.
“It is indeed embarrassing to discover that a large number of Kenyans have had to encounter indignity in the hands of selfish dishonest public servants before receiving their birth or death certificates. These are 2 very critical documents in the life of citizens.”
Preliminary investigations revealed that the ICT system at the bureau had been deliberately created to slow down or jam processes, creating an artificial backlog “so that anyone who wants to be fast-tracked has to pay a bribe in order to jump the queue.”
“Those who don’t, remain a frustrated lot, suffering the consequences of endless excuses and months of waiting for their documents.”
The Government has urged Kenyans to apply for their birth and death certificates using the e-citizen platform, an online public service portal, adding that applicants would have their documents processed the same day.
However , individuals will have to present themselves physically to collect the documents.