Youth decry delays in ID processing

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By GEORGE SAYAGIE
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By ERIC MATARA
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Youth in Nakuru and Narok counties have protested over what they have called delays in the vetting process for issuing national identification cards.

The concerns have been raised even after President Uhuru Kenyatta directed that all eligible young people be issued with IDs to allow them to participate in the ongoing voter registration.

In Nakuru, applicants are up in arms over what they said was reluctance by the relevant offices to process the documents.

A majority of those affected are from slums in the town, including Kivumbini, Bondeni, Kaptembwa, Kwa Rhonda, Flamingo and Kaloleni.

They claimed that they are being discriminated against though they are Kenyan citizens.

In Narok, young people were on Wednesday still camping for a second day at the Narok chief’s office to demand the vital document, saying they have been to and from the office for months in vain.

Sources indicate that new residents in the county are the most affected as they find it hard to register for the document.

According to George Kariuki, 22, and Onesmus Otieno 21, the local administrators are reluctant to process the documents for them.

“I want to get an ID card in my life but I am already tired of chasing it. I am denied since I am not a local,” said Mr Kariuki.

Mr Otieno said he was born and bred in Majengo estate in Narok Town and does not understand why it is hard for the government to issue him with an ID card.

David ole Sankok, a member of the presidential campaign team, condemned the move and wants the area chief to be punished for denying the youth forms to apply for IDs.

Mr Sankok said that though some of the disgruntled youth have all the crucial documents for vetting, they had been camping at the office without assistance.

“The President ordered chiefs to ensure that all Kenyans apply and receive IDs on time, but Kenyans do not seem to get any assistance,” said Mr Sankok.

He called on Narok County Commissioner Moffat Kangi to intervene.

Many of those interviewed said they were afraid of being locked out of the ongoing mass voter registration.

“It is our right to acquire IDs. We need to apply for jobs, vote in the upcoming general election and enjoy our freedom just like any other Kenyan,” said Wilberforce Mutua, another resident seeking an ID.

When contacted for comment, Mr Kangi said all chiefs are responsible for vetting applicants for IDs.

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