GARISSA—The government’s latest policy move on Registration of Persons in areas along the border counties is not being implemented by the officials on the ground, group has revealed.
The Horizon Analysts and Researchers Network (HARN) stated that the policy shift announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration, Prof Kithure Kindiki on February regarding the removal of mandatory vetting and shortening of the issuance of identification cards (IDs) for those in border area was not being enforced as expected.
“A baseline survey we conducted in Wajir South, Wajir County has revealed that no tangible changes as proclaimed by CS Kindiki has been realised in reference to the alleged fast-tracking in the issuance of Identification Cards(IDs) and the removal of the mandatory vetting,” Siyad Jimale, the Executive Director of HARN noted.
He added: “In the process that begun on January 6th at Dadajabula Ward and ended on 24th of February, the mandatory vetting was a commonplace and in some instances, more vigourous. In addition, more than three months later, none of the applicants we spoke with had received their Identity Cards.”On February 3rd while in Moyale, CS Kindiki directed the Registrar of Persons to fast-track the vetting and issuance of identification cards for those in border towns within three weeks.
Subsequently, on 21st of March, the leaders from Nothern Kenya made a follow-up on the matter during a meeting with the Principal Secretary for Immigration and Citizen Services, Prof Julius Bitok who reiterated the CS’s policies direction on the abolishment of the mandatory vetting of residents in Tana River, Isiolo, Marsabit, Garissa, Wajir and Mandera counties as a pre-condition to the issuance of IDs and other registration documents.
While appearing before the National Assembly, CS Kindiki told of a shocking incident in Moyale where he met youths still waiting for their IDs since 2019. pic.twitter.com/w5AVIlAbaU
— Kulan Post (@kulanpost) April 12, 2023
On the 13th of April, when he appeared as the first CS before the House to respond to members’ questions under the amended Standing Orders, he recounted an unfortunate situation where youths who were waiting for their IDs since 2019. He told the House that the government has since removed the mandatory vetting process and shortened the issuance of the vital documents to less than a month.
HARN furthed called on CS Kindiki to implement and enforce “the new policy shift earliest time possible in a bid to maintain the hope of thousands of youths in the region who saw bright future in his unprecedented directive.”
The group also challenged the leaders from the border regions to be in touch with their electorates and the”realities on the ground.”
The MCA for Dadajabula Ward, Sahal Mogow said identity card applications in the area has been a challenge since independence, adding that local administrators put a lot of hurdles to deny young people their citizenship rights.
Moogow noted that the local “heaved with a sigh of relief when the directive was announced.”
“However, it came as a surprise to us when we received concerns from the electorates that the obstacles the CS said were removed wrer still there. On top of that, the officials from the department of Registrar of Persons were demanding unspecified fees from the applicants failure to which they would be denied to participate in the process,”
PRESS STATEMENT FOLLOW UP OF THE NEW POLICY SHIFT OF ISSUANCE OF IDENTIFICATION CARDS AND MANDATORY VETTING pic.twitter.com/OzMzkG4xaF
— The Horizon Analysts and Researchers Network (@HARNPolicy) April 16, 2023
We contacted the area MP, Mohamed Adow for reaction, but he was unavailable for comment by the time of publishing this story.