More than 40 years after independence, the process of getting a birth certificate has not changed. One goes to Sheria house (government offices where birth certificates are processed) and fills a form, and then you are asked to take to City Hall (city council offices) for Birth search. At City Hall you pay Kshs.100 and told to come back after a month. Surprisingly, even after seeing a copy of birth notification and application form for new birth, the city cashier records the birth in the Death search register. When you go after one month you are told they have not completed the search and tell you come back after a few days. Nothing specific.
When one is not self-employed it is not easy to take offs to check on the certificate. So one day I decided to call and asked for birth search department, I was transferred to five different departments; deaths search, rates, bills, meters etc.. I had to disconnect after a long hold. I tried a second and third time and the receptionist did the same. On the third time I had already lost my temper and gave the receptionist a bushing. I told her not to take Kenyans 40 years back.
I could not believe that government institutions still employ daft telephone operators who cannot differentiate between births search department and deaths or rates department. How can a cashier write Death search on receipt for Birth search.
Working away from the City center where these offices are located, I have to send someone to follow this up. The guy makes several trips to City hall and is told to try another day after the other and it turns out to many days. From Sheria house, he is sent back to City Hall and after making a lot of noise, he is given some files to search and he gets the baby’s name.
This irritated me a lot. Then on one day I decided to go to Sheria house myself thinking that the guy was not aggressive enough. To my amazement, the lady wondered why I had paid 100 bob at City Hall for the search, then after looking at my application form she tells me to come back the next Monday because there was no power. I could not believe that a whole government office can be without power the whole day and does not have a generator (40 years after independence). Unbelievable!
When Monday came, I sent my man. He pays another Ksh. 90 and is told to go back after another month to get the certificate. My God what is wrong with our Kenyan government offices? Can they grow up to 40 years!
Can you imagine what would happen when you or your child are to travel abroad and need a passport which you cannot get without a birth certificate? No wonder we cannot get rid of corruption completely in this country.
NINAVUMILIA KUA MKENYA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!