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Nubians threaten to stop voter registration over lack of IDs

Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 00:00 -- BY RAMADHAN RAJAB

THE Nubian community has issued a one week ultimatum to the government to issue them with identification cards. The community, through the Nubian Rights Forum, has threatened to move to court to block the registration of voters' set to kick off next month, if the government fails to give a clear guideline on how it will address their grievances.

The group petitioned the Minister for Immigration to abolish the vetting exercise on their members, describing it discriminatory.

"We detest the vetting exercise imposed on us. It is contrary to the equality and non-discrimination provisions of the Kenyan laws. It creates doubts on citizenship and denies us citizenship rights of timely acquisition of crucial identification documents," the forum's chairman Shaffi Hussein said in a statement.

Hussein said some immigration officers are using the vetting exercise to swindle money from the community members seeking the IDs.

He said failure by the government to issue them with the IDs bars them from taking part in the electoral process and other national issues.

Hussein said lack of the IDs limits their freedom of movement and threatens their social harmony within their neighborhood.

"We believe the vetting process and failure to give us IDs is a scheme to disinherit Nubian youths who cannot formally claim their connections to their parents because they cannot prove their citizenship," Hussein said.