NAIROBI—The government’s latest policy shift in addressing the process of acquiring Identify Card (ID) for applicants from border areas has been lauded.
In a statement seen by Kulan Post, the Horizon Analysts and Researchers Network (HARN) said the directive by the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration, Prof Kithure Kindiki on Friday during a security meeting held at Moyale in Marsabit county, was long overdue. Kithure directed National Registration Bureau to fast-track the vetting and issuance of identification cards for those in border towns.
“We applaud the directive given by Cabinet Secretary of Interior and National Administration, Prof. Kithure Kindiki intending to shorten the period of issuing identity cards to Kenyans in border areas within a record period of 21 days,” Mr. Siyad Jimale, the Executive Director of HARN, said.
“Over the years, thousands of youth in Northern Kenya could not get their Identity cards (IDs) and other relevant documents delaying education and economic progress anticipated in the region which has the highest population growth rates compared to most parts of the country,” he added.
The total population of formerly Northeastern province surged by eight percent according the last census although the figures were challenged in 2019 by leaders from the region, saying it was “deliberately altered and reduced.”
In reaction to Kindiki’s directive on the reduction of the lengthened vetting and issuance of IDs, the policy research institute noted that despite Kenya having a progressive constitution, people living in Northern Kenya and border areas have continuesly sidelined.
“Denying the citizens of border counties their rights has made a large population of our young generation to pursue other unproductive activities, sometimes harmful to self and country,” noted Siyad Jimale, Executive Director of Horizon Analysts and Researchers Network.
He added: “With Dr. William Ruto’s regime promising social changes, moving forward, we urge the National Registration Bureau to walk the talk and fast track issuance of those important documents. This will enable residents of Nothern Kenya to be at the same human development pace with other Kenyans in other parts of the country.”
HARN welcomes Government’s commitment to address ID registration delays in Nothern Kenya pic.twitter.com/7Cu7QqtBl4
— The Horizon Analysts and Researchers Network (@HARNPolicy) February 5, 2023
He called on Kindiki to do a complete overhaul on the vetting committees “who derail the process for the directive to be undertaken swiftly.”
In many cases, the committees entrusted to verify the applicants have been accused of demanding for bribe before confirming the application.
The HARN has also challenged the leadership from Northern counties to do a follow-up on the latest government policy changes to advance the socio-economic status of people living in the formerly restive region.