Devolve issuance of ID cards, Raila tells gov’t

Raila Odinga in a meeting with Somali Community leaders from Kamkunji at Orange House. [Photo/Courtesy]

CORD leader Raila Odinga has asked the government to devolve the issuance of identity cards to locational level, under the supervision of county governments, to ensure faster acquisition of the documents.

Raila said centralisation of the service stands at odds with the era of devolution, adding that county governments were better placed to know the backgrounds and citizenship of applicants.

“There is no justification for the national government to cling on to a job it cannot do when there are people who can do it unless this is a deliberate policy to disenfranchise other Kenyans,” stated Raila.

“Having so many undocumented young people is a big threat to our national security and it cannot be wished away on grounds of security,” Raila said.

The ODM leader asked the government to prove that it is not deliberately frustrating acquisition of national identity cards in parts of the country perceived to be leaning towards the opposition.

Raila said that in many parts of the country, immigration offices and the Huduma Centres consistently claim they have no materials to capture the data of new applicants, while in other cases applicants receive ID cards with wrong names or wrong photos.

The Somali leaders, like their counterparts from Pokomo who met Raila yesterday (Monday), complained about what they termed as “deliberate delays” and frustrations in acquiring ID cards.

“I am aware that there is a door-to-door registration of persons, replacement of lost ID cards and change of particulars in identity cards going on in some parts of the country led by officials of the national government, while applicants from other parts are being subjected to long waits and prolonged verification processes,” Raila said.

“All our young people who are economically frustrated are prime targets and this is what the government should address. Denying the youth the identification documents only adds to their frustrations.”

The meeting with the Somali community was attended by Turkana Governor Josephat Nanok, former Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim and Suna East MP Junet Mohamed.


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Story By Benjamin Wafula
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