Govt accused of turning away youths seeking IDs

POSTED MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2014 | BY-LUCAS BARASA

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke (Daily Nation)

Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetangula has accused the Jubilee government of selectively issuing national identification documents in “politically correct areas” and turning away applicants in perceived opposition areas.

The Ford-Kenya leader claimed youths were being turned away under the pretext of lack of logistics.

“In opposition areas they are saying there’s no money to issue young people who have reached 18 years national IDs yet we know in some politically correct areas they are being given. In other areas they are asking ridiculous questions like title deeds,” Mr Wetangula said.

In an interview with the Nation, Mr Wetangula also insisted that the Jubilee administration was planning to use the digital registration of Kenyans to rig the 2017 General Election.

  1. DISMISS CLAIMS

He said it was wrong for Jubilee administration to use the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission or the Immigration Department to collect data of Kenyans yet it is the work of the National Bureau of Statistics done after every 10 years through national population census.

“Storage of biometric data and registration of people is done by the National Bureau of Statistics. What the government should do is to give Kenyans IDs unconditional and those with old outdated ones have them replaced,” Mr Wetangula said.

Mr Wetangula added that IEBC should ensure continuous registration of voters. He regretted that one year after last year’s polls, IEBC was yet to start registering voters.

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale however dismissed Mr Wetangula’s claims saying the digital registration will go on whether the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy wanted it or not.

At the same time, Jubilee political strategist Moses Kuria denied Cord’s claims that the exercise of registering Kenyans aged 12 years and above is a plot to pre-rig the 2017 General Election.

“These spurious claims expose the soft underbelly of the below par opposition. It should be put in consideration that the situation of our national registration documents deteriorated completely between 2008 and 2012 when ODM’s Otieno Kajwang was in charge of the immigration ministry.

  1. INSECURITY AS AN EXCUSE

“So widespread were the irregularities under Mr Kajwang’s watch that the national registration database is beyond repair and it has to be reconstituted afresh,” Mr Kuria said.

Mr Kuria said the fresh registration exercise is an effort to remedy “that era of Kajwang’s errors.

On Saturday, Cord leaders sparked allegations that the Jubilee administration was planning to use the digital registration of Kenyans to rig the 2017 General Election.
Acting ODM party leader Anyang’ Nyong’o alleged that this would be done by merging the new digital catalogue with the voters’ register.

Prof Nyong’o said the government was using insecurity as an excuse to register Kenyans afresh instead of addressing issues plaguing the country.

Last week, Deputy President William Ruto met with IEBC chairman Issack Hassan over possible amalgamation of the two registers.

  1. REGION PROFILE

But IEBC later said that it would only offer technical advice to government if invited to, and asserted it would not merge its register with any other.

Commissioner Thomas Letangule said that IEBC’s mandate is sealed by the Constitution and, therefore, does not extend to the registration of persons.

On Saturday, Prof Nyong’o said that the registration of persons first ought to be handled by the relevant committees of the National Assembly and the Senate before the process kicks off.

The ODM leader said that no allocation had been made in the budget as announced by the DP. “We suspect that this is a ploy by Jubilee to rig the next poll,” he said.

Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale and Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba said the process would be unacceptable to Kenyans unless the demographic profile of each region was taken into account.

Dr Khalwale said the government had marginalised communities from western Kenya and asked the region to unite irrespective of political party.

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