Dr. Magare Gikenyi recently petitioned the court to challenge a gazette dated November 6th, which raised the charges of several government services. The High Court has since suspended this notice, along with any other document that seeks to permit an elevation or review of fees, pending a hearing on the matter. High Court Judge L.N Mugambi ordered the temporary suspension. He has set a date of November 29th to discuss this matter further.
Gikenyi’s petition raises concerns about the arbitrary increase in costs of the services, in which he claims it was done without any proper formula or public input. The petitioner has argued that it will be particularly difficult for young Kenyans to obtain National IDs due to the raised costs, ultimately leading to a disadvantage in job opportunities. Gikenyi expressed that the respondents’ actions will lead to a loss of trust in the public and an abuse of political authority.
The government, through the Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof. Kithure Kindiki, announced the rise in costs for various services. For instance, the application fee for a 34-page passport has increased to Ksh.7,500 from the previous Ksh.4,500. The 50-page ordinary passport application will now cost applicants Ksh.9,500, and the application for a 66-page ordinary passport has reached Ksh.12,500. Similarly, first-time ID applicants will now need to pay Ksh.1,000, along with a similar amount for replacing lost IDs.
It seems that the courts are taking a stand to ensure the voices of the people are heard in matters of public concern. Stay tuned for further updates on this issue.
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