The State has refused to back down on calls to waiver the re-introduced Sh100 application fee for replacing national identity (ID) cards saying the law provides for higher replacement charges.
Kenyans through public participation provided under the Constitution have called for the removal of the fee re-introduced in March in a move likely to boost government’s non-tax revenue streams.
But the government reckons that the law does not support free replacement and that the Sh100 is a discount.
“By law, issuance of IDs is not free. It is only (sic) government in its effort to facilitate people get IDs for the elections waived the fee. What is in the law for replacement is Sh300 but the government is charging Sh100,” said Treasury through the draft Budget Policy Statement.
Dr Fred Matiang’i, the Interior secretary, directed the National Registration Bureau to start levying Sh100 in March for replacement of lost, torn, worn out or mutilated IDs.
The service had been free since 2012 when the then Sh300 fee, which had been introduced in 2011 by the then Immigration minister Otieno Kajwang’, was waived to encourage registration of voters ahead of the 2013 General Election.
Section 16 of the Registration of Persons Act, among other provisions, allows interior minister to proscribe the fees for a duplicate ID or for initial registration.
A person replacing a lost ID requires a police abstract while those with unserviceable one must surrender it to a registration officer and apply for a renewal, which takes about 10 days.
The Immigration department — under which issuance of passports, visas, work or residence permits and national IDs falls — is one of the biggest source of non-tax revenue for the government.
The department collected about Sh10.5 billion in 2016, official data shows.
The collections represented a Sh3.5 billion growth compared with 2015, largely because of automation of passport and visa services.