Birth certificates to be issued immediately after application say PS

Birth and death certificates will be issued immediately on the day of application.

Immigration Principal Secretary, Julius Bitok, said the directive that takes effect immediately is part of the reforms being undertaken to clear the backlog of pending applications and to pre-empt frustrations experienced by applicants forced to endure long waits for their documents.

“I am directing all registration officers to ensure every person who walks into our offices leaves with the document on the same day. We are doing this so that as a country, we can officially record more deaths from the 55 per cent that is the current rate,” said Prof Bitok.

Speaking when he opened the civil registry services at Nkubu in South Imenti, Meru county, the PS also ordered chiefs, their assistants and the public to ensure every death is promptly reported to the relevant government offices, saying that unreported cases compromised (property) succession within families whenever deaths occur.

He said it also opens avenues for fraud,  including on the electoral process.

“What it means when 45 out of every 100 deaths are registered is that families may not be able to inherit property of a deceased. In other cases, you will have dead people voting and doing other illegalities,” he stated.

Jacinta Karimi, who received her five-year-old daughter’s birth certificate after a long wait, said she had been left helpless and feared her daughter would be left out of health and other government services.

Also at the event were MPs Shadrack Mwiti (South Imenti), Mpuru Aburi (Tigania East), John Paul Mwirigi (Igembe South) and Moses Kirima of Central Imenti.

Prof Bitok urged the local communityto take advantage of the new offices to acquire birth certificates, which he said would improve children’s rights as the documents were a mandatory requirement for enrollment in schools and issuance of subsequent identification documents such as National Identity Cards and Passports.

He said the current national registration of births stood at 87 per cent. 

The opening of the offices in Meru brings to six the number of Civil Registration Services offices, with Meru boasting a population of about 1.5 million people.

The PS, who also opened another Civil Registration Services in Tigania West sub-county in Mikinduri, said more offices will be opened across the country to make it easier for residents to access vital documents.

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