1 December 2012

Kenya: Thousands of Uncollected IDs Gather Dust in Upper Eastern

THOUSANDS of youth who applied for national Identification Cards in Upper Eastern region have failed to collect them even as the clock for voters' registration ticks fast.

The IDs have been lying for several months at registration centres in in Embu, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Isiolo and Marsabit. Upper Eastern registration coordinator Naomi Njiru said efforts to use the provincial administration to deliver the IDs to the owners have been futile as most of them cannot be traced.

"Out of our concern for the IDs applicants, we have been trying to use chiefs to deliver them to the owners but in vain," she said. Njiru said it unfortunate that the government put in a lot of effort to fast track the processing of the IDs, the applicants have failed to collect them. She appealed to the applicants to collect their IDs to enable them register as voters and transact other official businesses.

Speaking in Embu town yesterday, Njiru said there are more than 4,000 uncollected IDs in Embu West district. "Every time there is a delay, we communicate with the headquarters as quickly as possible to ensure the documents are processed and delivered. Nobody should complain of delay of issuance of IDs because the applicants are the ones who are failing to collect them," she said.

Njiru advised politicians, who are always complaining over alleged delay of issuance of the documents in the region, to check their facts before they criticise the national registration department officials.

"Politicians should be asking their supporters and youth to go for the uncollected IDs instead of complaining over delays without finding out whether the delays are real or not," she said.

Njiru said she has been visiting all the counties to assess and monitor the issuance of the IDs to ensure there are no delays. The officers spoke as low turnout continues to slow the voter registration across the country with some youth and leaders blaming it on lack of IDs.

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