Raila makes new application ahead of August deadline

Raila leads the line

ODM leader Raila Odinga during a past event

ODM leader Raila Odinga on Thursday applied for a new passport ahead of the August 31 deadline.

Odinga, who was accompanied by his wife Ida Odinga, visited the immigration department office and proceeded to get the new E-passport.

Through his twitter account, the ODM leader stated that “No society has ever developed as an island, we must travel, trade, exchange ideas and learn from each other in order to grow.

He further urged all Kenyans to apply for the passport in time to avoid the last-minute rush.

The new passport however faced a number of negative criticisms after the immigration department gave the details of applications.

According to the rules, a user is expected to submit the online application forms, three copies of the invoices, their original identity card as well as a copy, their old passport and a copy, three passport size photos, and a copy of a recommender’s ID card.

Protest over recommender option

The recommender option is what caused a stir on twitter.

Some of the people who reacted to the new requirements was BBC Africa Business editor Larry Madowo who questioned the option.

“Kenya still requires a ‘Recommender’ to get or renew a passport, in the year of our Lord 2019.

“After I’ve applied and paid online for a renewal, the only thing I should submit is the old passport. But in Kenya, you constantly have to prove that you belong, to your own government. You’re never worthy,” tweeted Madowo.

Alexander Muteshi, who is the Immigration Director-General addressed the concerns and stated that the process had to be followed to ensure compliance with international regulations.

“The e-passport will be valid for 10 years and a lot can changes in 10 years, so the recommender update is necessary for every renewal.

“As for why those recommenders, we cannot ask you to go a person whose credibility is not known,” remarked Muteshi.

Muteshi however noted that a possible extension might be considered due to an expected last minute rush.

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