Immigration minister Otieno Kajwang' yesterday defended his ministry against claims of failing to issue national IDs to millions of youth to enable them register as voters for the general election.
He blamed the youth for failing to collect the thousands of ID cards lying at registration offices across the country. Kajwang' said there are close to 318,380 uncollected IDs across the country, adding that of those 81,243 are for youth from the Rift Valley.
Central region follows with 54,697, Nairobi/Kajiado 48065, Nyanza 44,699 and Western 318380. The minister, who was speaking at a civil registration forum in Nairobi, said the department is working in partnership with the provincial administration and CBOs to distribute processed identity cards.
Kajwang' said his ministry officials are liasing with chiefs and DOs to monitor the collection of the IDs. He said the department has from 1995 to date issued 20,089,152 Kenyans with the second generation Identity cards.
He said one million Kenyans are still holding first generation cards. "Taking into consideration the projected figures of the dead 1.7 million, the Kenyans who are currently holding the second generation and eligible for voter registration is 18.3 million," he said.
He added that the target population who turned 18 years in the year 2012 is 91,2796. "Between January and October 2012 the department has issued 1,063,328 identity cards to new applicants and 800,000 duplicates while last year the department processed 1.8 million identity cards," he said.
The minister said the production centre is now processing 150,000 applications which will be ready within a week.