The story of missing files in critical areas like judiciary registries, hospital records, civil registration offices, and police stations is a scenario Kenyans have learned to live with.
If the problem is intentional or not, the circumstance is an embarrassing fact at a time like now when the world is becoming digital in all sectors.
When the national government initiated the process of digitizing the lands registry, many Kenyans had hoped that the same exercise would spread to other ministries like health and internal security and the judiciary.
Very little effort has been made by the relevant government administrative units in Kenya today.
Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney initiated this process several years ago where she started with the prime and urban areas like Nairobi to save officers in the Ministry from the agony of doing land searches for physical files that most of the time went missing.
A spot-check by The Eastern Newspaper clearly shows that both the national and the county governments lack the will and commitment to keep the records of the citizens safe and in a simply accessible form.
In Meru County, for example, the health records at the biggest public medical facility, Meru level 5 hospital are stored manually in a small wooden structure that is prone to theft and disasters like fires that can jeopardize and risk the lives of hundreds of patients who seek services at the facility every day.
The same case is evident at the police stations, court registries, and civil registration offices, a situation that leaves the people with the question of how safe are citizens’ files in government offices.
The situation has created a favorable environment for corrupt officers to serve desperate citizens who most of the time desperately require records of their health and property.
One would not imagine if one day the physical files and documents are damaged by natural calamities like floods, and fires or they are physically stolen by people with malevolent intentions.
It is time the government became serious on matters of keeping crucial records for the taxpayers, the national and the county governments must invest resources to digitize all records for the safety of the citizens and ease in serving the people in various sectors.