Supkem calls for speedy issuance of Hajj passports
The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) has called on the government to fast track the issuance of passports to enable as many Muslims as possible to travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage.
In a statement signed by its national chairman Al Hajj Hassan Ole Naddo, Supkem cited the slow pace in the issuance of passports as the bottlenecks towards partaking in the event which forms an integral part of the Muslim faith.
Naado said they were concerned by the silence coming from the government on this issue while the Hajj celebrations were set to start in a week’s time.
“We have noted with concern the slow pace in the issuance of passports. We appreciate the working mechanisms we have developed with the Ministry of Interior through the immigration services that include a special window for Hajj on e-citizen and the Hajj desk. We however appeal for speedy issuance of the remaining passports,” Naado said.
He at the same time cautioned Kenyans against illegitimate agencies that seek to swindle those seeking to travel during the pilgrimage.
“In order for Kenyan Muslims to perform their pilgrimage smoothly the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims is urging everyone to strictly adhere to the guidelines set out by the government of Saudi Arabia and not take shortcuts,” said Naado.
The first is expected to depart on June 14 with the second expected to leave by June 22.
At the same time, the Muslim officials appealed to the government to intervene and see how legitimate foreign passport holders will get a chance to participate in Hajj.
“We are concerned with the decision that the legitimate foreign passport holders residing and working in the Republic of Kenya with valid documents are ineligible to perform Hajj from Kenyan territory. This is quite a big challenge, especially for diplomats and foreigners-legitimately residing in Kenya. Some have their Kenyan family members who would want to perform Hajj together,” said Naado.
A total of 4000 Kenyan Muslims will be part of the pilgrims.