The Central Regional Commissioner (RC), Wilfred Nyagwanga has put on notice brokers who always hover around civil registration offices while bent on defrauding residents seeking birth certificates that they will be prosecuted.
Speaking during a fact-finding mission at the Thika Civil Registration offices after complaints by applicants on Wednesday, the RC said the office is a veritable den of wheeler-dealers with brokers soliciting bribes from locals to speedup issuance of birth certificates.
He warned civil registrars found colluding with brokers they will be sacked, saying they will not allow government offices to be turned into corruption zones.
The administrator called on parents not to fall prey to conmen, saying they should instead work directly with civil registration officers.
Civil registration officers should avoid short-cuts and exercise professionalism in their work. Again, from the complaints received, we shall not allow brokers to dictate to our officers how to work. Any of them found hovering around the offices will be arrested and face the law for fraud, he said.
He told women to apply for birth certificates immediately they deliver, to avoid last minute rushes.
Residents expressed their frustration at the difficulty in acquiring birth certificates from the Thika registration offices, saying the officers are unwilling to fast-track processes.
They said sometimes they are forced to pay bribes or deal with brokers who either defraud them or fast-track the process.
I applied for a birth certificate in March last year and ever since, I have been travelling to Thika offices to get the document. However, nobody has been willing to explain the delays. I have been forced to give out Sh.2,000 bribe to a broker who ended up defrauding me, said Elijoy Gatune, from Githurai.
Her story was shared by Andrew Wambani who applied for the same in July and has been hoping that with the Rapid Result Initiative on Birth certificates that the government rolled out that month, he would get his fast.
We want a cleanup in this office because it has been increasingly frustrating to get a birth certificate, he said.
However, the Thika Civil Registrar, Mary Muriuki said there was no backlog, and blamed delays in issuance of the birth certificates to lack of books that have the slips to process the birth certificates.
She said they have so far given out 30,000 birth certificates, since the launch of the RRI in July.
The office serves the populous Juja, Ruiru, Thika East and West Sub counties and parts of Kandara and Gatanga in Murang’a County.
Source: Kenya News Agency