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Parents in last minute rush to get birth certificates

Sophie Njoka and Githinji Mwangi @PeopleDailyKe

Long queues of parents and guardians were yesterday witnessed at Registrar of Persons offices across the country as they sought to get birth certificates for their children to beat the National Education Management Information System (Nemis) registration deadline.

Parents who lined up outside Bima Towers, Mombasa, said they had lost hope of getting the vital document before the deadline. They complained that it was taking too long to acquire the certificates due to limited number of personnel at the registrar’s office. They reiterated their earlier demand to the Ministry of Education to extend the registration deadline which expires today.

“We call on the Ministry of Education to extend the exercise by one more month and increase the number of people overseeing the exercise to enable us acquire the birth certificates for our children.

We are afraid that they will not be registered in the system if the deadline stands,” said Hamisi Nyundo, a parent. Most of those interviewed claimed they have been camping at the office since last week.

However, it emerged that some of the officials were colluding with brokers to demand bribes so as to speed up processing of the birth certificates. Some of the parents claimed to have paid up to Sh5,000 and obtained the certificate within few minutes.

“No one will process your documents without parting with money here. I fear my children could be locked out of the registration as the process is very slow and marred with corruption,” said another parent, Josephat Gona.

In Kirinyaga, frustrated parents stormed the Registrar of Persons offices demanding faster release of the documents. They claimed that the officers were deliberately delaying release of the documents. Police were called in to calm the situation which was threatening to get out of hand.

This year, all learners will need to produce their birth certificates to register for the national examination. Using the document, they will get a unique identification number to be replaced with the usual index numbers. The deadline for registration is today.

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