- The Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics-CICC chairperson Mohamed Abdulkadir said their intention is to help speed up the process.
- He said thousands of Lamu youth continue to miss out on lucrative job opportunities, scholarships and opportunities to travel outside the country as they have no IDs.
Muslim clerics in Lamu County have asked to be included in National Identity card acquisition vetting committees as proof of transparency.
They complained that the current state of the process is slow and time-wasting.
The Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics-CICC chairperson Mohamed Abdulkadir said their intention is to help speed up the process.
He said thousands of Lamu youth continue to miss out on lucrative job opportunities, scholarships and opportunities to travel outside the country as they have no IDs.
The cleric said a majority of chiefs involved in the process are non-locals who continue to deliberately complicate and frustrate the process for the local youths seeking to acquire their national identifier.
He called for the incorporation of religious leaders in the process as they are well acquainted with all community members and will therefore help to easily address any concerns for each applicant.
“We know everyone here and if they are having a hard time identifying anyone, let them enlist our help so we can move faster. Most of them are new here and have no idea how to go about it. We shall be glad to help,” said Abdulkadir.
Cleric Ibrahim Shahibu urged the government to put a time cap on the period needed for the vetting and registration process to enable the process to move faster.
He regretted that quite a number of youth in the county are still left with the waiting cards, years after they started the application process.
“Let’s have a time cap on this whole process, say in six months from the time of vetting, one needs to have been issued with the ID. How this takes years beats logic. That's mental torture for the youth who keep missing out on lifetime opportunities,” said Shahibu.
The clerics complained that it had become even tougher for those in terror-prone areas to acquire the crucial identifier.
“Woe unto you if you are from the Lamu-Somalia border villages of Kiunga, Ishakani, Mkokoni, Madina, Kiwayu, and Boni forest, and even those in Witu on the border of Lamu and Tana River. Getting ID cards is a distant dream,” said Salim Omar.
Last month, Lamu governor Issa Timamy led a delegation of leaders from the county including Senator Githuku Kamau, Lamu West MP Stanley Muthama, Nominated Senator Shakila Abdalla and others to a meeting with Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki in Nairobi in the agitation of the same.
During the meeting, the leaders prevailed upon the CS to hire locals for the positions of chiefs and assistant chiefs to fast-track the process.