A Kenyan passport issued to Mr Hassan Sheikh Aden Issak has been withdrawn. Immigration and Registration of Persons minister Otieno Kajwang’ said the Somali diplomat had become a Kenyan citizen by registration when he was issued the passport.
However, Sheikh Aden was appointed a diplomat when the Somali government was installed. “We realised he had a Kenyan passport when his name registered in our systems when he returned to the country, and withdrew it. He had not even renounced his Kenyan citizenship,” Mr Kajwang’ said.
The minister told the Nation in his Nyayo House office in Nairobi that Sheikh Aden’s children had also become Kenyan citizens. He said since the law currently does not allow dual citizenship, his ministry usually confiscates Kenyan passports.
Mr Kajwang’ said his ministry also discovered a number of Somalis who had acquired genuine Kenyan travel documents as they were just about to board a plane to their destinations. “We refused them exit after we realised they were not Kenyans but Somalis from Somaliland.” Somaliland is an autonomous region in Somalia.
The minister said his ministry was facing challenges using birth certificates and national IDs as primary documents for the issuance of national passports. Following reforms in the ministry, Mr Kajwang’ said, it now took three days for one to renew a passport, and 14 days for fresh applicants to acquire one.
He said it took 20 days for applicants in Nairobi to acquire national ID cards, 30 days for those living in non-border areas and 40 days for those coming from border regions. The minister regretted that many eligible Kenyans were yet to apply for national IDs even though there was no backlog.