The Interior and National Administration Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has revoked a gazette notice that indicated an increase in fees for key documents including identity cards, passports, birth certificates, and government staff badges.
Kindiki said the revocation is to allow for public participation following an uproar among Kenyans.
In the new notice, Kindiki announced new charges with Kenyans having up to December 10, 2023, to submit their views on the proposed new rates.
The CS notably reduced some of the fees while he retained others attributing to the increase in the cost of living and a debt that the government is trying to settle.
“The intended revised charges, fees, and levies are informed by the need for Kenya’s self-reliance in financing the National Budget, to wean the country from unsustainable debt that poses grave threats to our sovereignty and the dignity of future generations.” Kindiki said.
“The State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services has been directed to conduct and complete public participation as soon as possible, but in any case, not later than December 10, 2023.” He added.
He stated that the new charges are set to take effect as of January 1, 2024.
The high court had suspended the implementation of the new charges after a Nakuru-based resident Magare Gikenyi filed a petition citing lack of public participation.
In the new proposed changes, new identity cards (first-time applicants) will need to pay Sh.300 while previously it was free. This is down from Sh. 1,000 which had been earlier proposed in the revoked notice.
The replacement has also been lowered to Sh. 1,000 from Sh. 2,000 as per the earlier revoked notice which is still ten times higher than the previous charges.
The CS also added a rider that could help the poor saying there could be an avenue to waive the charges for an ID.
“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.” Kindiki said.
The cost of processing a basic passport has been retained at Sh7,500 from the previous Sh4,500. Also the cost of replacing a mutilated passport has been retained at Sh20, 000.