Kenyan citizens seeking passports face renewed frustration as a system failure disrupts normal operations at the Immigration Department.

The department confirmed the disruption, offering only apologies for the inconvenience and a promise from engineers to resolve the issue "as soon as possible."

In a statement released by the Immigration Department, they stated, "We regret to inform our clients that we are currently experiencing a downtime that has affected our normal passport application receiving and collection services. Our engineers are working to resolve the issue and ensure the resumption of normal services as soon as possible. Affected applicants will be provided with alternative dates as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience caused."

No timeframe for a fix or impacted applicant numbers was provided.

This news comes as a blow to Kenyans already grappling with lengthy passport processing times.

The recent backlog, once a staggering 724,000 applications, remains a point of contention.

While the government may claim "positive developments," many citizens continue to experience delays and frustrations.

In a bid to address the backlog of passport applications, the Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has unveiled a Rapid Results Initiative (RRI).

This initiative aims to expedite the processing and collection of passports, particularly focusing on clearing a historic backlog of 724,000 passports. Under the RRI, 49,500 passports will be prioritized for delivery and collection within fourteen days, starting from May 10, 2024.

The distribution plan allocates specific quotas to various regions, ensuring equitable access to passport services.

"This afternoon, [I] directed the State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services to roll out a Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) to ensure that the 49,500 passports that were part of the historic backlog of 724,000 passports are delivered and collected within fourteen (14) days with effect from May 10, 2024," Kindiki stated.

The breakdown of passport distribution includes Nairobi (27,000), Mombasa (3,000), Nakuru (4,200), Embu (4,500), Eldoret (3,900), Kisumu (3,900), Kisii (3,000), and Kericho (400).

Kenyans with urgent travel plans now face the prospect of significant delays or even missed trips due to the system failure and are left with no recourse but to wait and hope for a swift resolution.

As the government navigates through the current challenges, stakeholders remain hopeful that the swift implementation of recovery measures will restore efficiency to passport services, ensuring timely access for all applicants across the country.