Nairobi News


Uproar over KWS new requirement for eCitizen accounts, advance park entry fees

The Kenya Wildlife Services will now require its visitors to pay their park entry fees online before accessing their premises.

In a reminder to all Kenyans and global visitors issued yesterday, the KWS said they will not accept any other form of payment if it is not done via the government platform, eCitizen.

“All park entry payments shall be made through the eCitizen Government platform Note that other forms of payments shall not be accepted at the KWS Parks, Reserves, and Sanctuaries,” KWS said.

The statement was met with mixed reactions from the public with many claiming that the eCitizen platform is always slow and unstable due to the high number of people attempting to access government services on its servers.

“Its a good move though visa/master card payments should be allowed as they serve the same as eCitizen,” said Muli Alex.

“Why change a system that was working very well.ECitizen is forever jammed,” added Belinda Kigen.

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“20/24 hours e-Citizen doesn’t work… how about that? Tourists need to create an eCitizen account? While the police is still issuing cash receipts c’mon… something is off,” opined Britta Wulfekammer.

“This is the beginning of killing tourism starting with the local tourism… KWS think twice about this decision… #otherwise,” said John Muchendu.

This comes a week after KWS alerted its potential visitors that they would be required to create accounts on eCitizen where they could make advance entry payments before visiting parks.

“Visitors planning to explore Kenya Wildlife Service managed national parks, reserves, and sanctuaries are advised to create personal accounts on the eCitizen Government platform by visiting and make park payments in advance for a fast and convenient park entry,” said KWS on August 23, 2023.

A section of Kenyans also questioned KWS on how visitors with no internet connection or digital literacy would be able to access various parks, museums and sanctuaries across the country – especially those located off the beaten path.

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On June 30, 2023, President William Ruto launched a revamped eCitizen portal in efforts to digitize all government services. So far, 5,000 services are offered on the website and the plan is to have 9,500 government services offered on the platform by the end of December 2023.

To create an account on the eCitizen platform, an applicant will first have to select the account type they want – Citizen, Resident, Diplomat or Foreigner. Citizens will be required to provide their identification number, their names as per their ID, their contact information, password and photo for their account.

Residents will be required to state their nationality, provide their alien identification details and their names as per their IDs, their contact information, password and photo. The same will also apply for those who select Diplomat accounts. They will be required to provide their Diplomat ID, their names and contacts too.

Foreigners will have to state their nationality, their passport number, their names as they appear in their passport, gender, date of birth, contact information, password and photo to create their account.

However, since the launch of the portal, there have been reports of the revamped platform constantly facing down time and preventing applicants from obtaining services efficiently and on time.

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