Marsabit County residents have appealed to the government to speed up the automation process of its services in order to improve on service delivery for accelerated development.
The call comes in the wake of complaints by elected leaders of graft at the local department of registration of births and deaths offices because services are not digitized.
Members of the county assembly from Saku constituency led by Marsabit Central ward MCA Jack Godana decried what they termed as runaway corruption as service seekers are forced to pay illegal charges to acquire birth certificates for their children.
Godana as well as his counterpart for Sagante/Jaldesa ward Amos Guyo accused the office for demanding Sh 2,000 per every application made for a birth certificate instead of the official charge of Sh150.
“This fee of Sh 2,000 is not acceptable because no official receipt is issued for it,” said Godana during a public meeting at the Marsabit playground which was also attended by the County Commissioner Paul Rotich and Governor Mohamud Ali.
The MCAs said that they were in support of President William Ruto’s government plan to digitize services in the public sector saying the move will help in fighting corruption.
They said that members of the public were tired of being taken in circles at the said offices in a bid to make them part with bribes and urged that the digitization process to be speeded up.
The County Registrar of Persons Mr Francis Gachie admitted that the allegations were true and had started administrative action against certain officers suspected of perpetuating the vice.
“Action is being taken to address the problem which we do not deny exists” said Gachie adding that he was barely two months old at the station.
He disclosed that the malpractice is suspected to be perpetrated by two officers who have been serving at the station for a very long time and who have declined to go on inter-ministerial transfers that were recently effected by the ministry of Public Service.
The problem which includes double registration and forgeries is also affecting the functions of other departments that rely on the crucial document to dispense services.
These services include handling of defilement cases at the courts, school admissions, application for identity cards, NHIF and banking services among others.
The CC assured the public that investigations would be instituted following the allegation and that appropriate action will be taken against those found culpable.
Rotich reminded government officers that they were supposed to attend to members of the public as per their service charters and must observe zero tolerance to corruption.
By Sebastian Miriti