Raila Odinga
Image: The-Star

Azimio leader Raila Odinga has censured the government for requiring Kenyans to pay for National Identification cards or replace lost ones.

Raila said it was absurd for citizens to be asked to pay for documents showing they are Kenyans.

“Someone wants you to buy an ID to show that you are a Kenyan. How can you be asked to pay when your father and mother are all Kenyans,” he posed.

He said President William Ruto’s administration has lost direction by asking Kenyans to pay for documents like a national ID.

Raila’s remarked even as they revoked a Gazette Notice issued on November 7, 2023, that announced an increase in charges for some services including passport, ID, work permit, birth and death certificate to allow for public participation on the matter.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has since gazetted new intended charges for the same services to take effect on January 1, 2024.

In the new Gazette Notice however, the government has made minimal changes, with most of the charges such as application of passports, death and birth certificates being retained as previously published on November 7, 2023.

The government had intended to increase the fee for first-time ID applications to Sh1,000 but has now reviewed the cost downward to Sh300.

The fee for replacement of lost IDs has also been reviewed to Sh1,000 instead of the intended Sh2,000.

The State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services will conduct and complete public participation no later than December 10, 2023.

Even with the new changes, Raila said the government should stop burdening Kenyans with levies and charges.

“We are saying that all Kenyans should get IDs even if they do not have money,” he maintained.

The Opposition chief spoke during a meeting with religious leaders from Nairobi County at Westlands Primary School.

Other leaders at the meeting were Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi, Nairobi senator Edwin Sifuna and ODM deputy party leader Wycliffe Oparanya.