Red flag over certificate cartel group in Garissa

Garissa county commissioner Joshua Chepchieng speaking at Garissa primary school playgrounds during the Jamhuri day celebrations. /STEPHEN ASTARIKO
Garissa county commissioner Joshua Chepchieng speaking at Garissa primary school playgrounds during the Jamhuri day celebrations. /STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Garissa residents have been warned against using brokers and cartels while applying for

citizenship documents.

Brokers and cartels take advantage of ignorant citizens either seeking

IDs or birth certificates for

their children.

Bare Kerrow, a programme officer with Haki Na Sheria, a Garissa-based non-governmental organisation, said lack of birth certificates complicates the

issuance of ID cards in the region.

Brokers, Bare said, have been asking unsuspecting residents to pay huge sums of money for government services that are either free or cost minimal fee.

The region is also the home of more than 250,000 refugees. Some of the refugees use shortcuts to acquire Kenyan citizenship.

Bare, who was launching a 10-day sensitisation programme in different villages yesterday, said they encourage parents to

enrol their children in school early using birth certificates as it is mandatory.

“It’s easier for such a child to acquire ID cards when he or she attains the age of 18,” he said.

County commissioner Joshua Chepchieng’ (right) recently appealed to residents to trust government officials and demand explanation whenever in doubt.

Bare called on local leaders to educate the public on how to acquire citizenship documents and their cost.

“We are launching this programme to also make residents aware of their rights and also show the procedure they should follow to acquire the documents,” he said.

Haki Na Sheria

fights social justice and educates the public on rights enshrined in the constitution.

The group also organises plays and issues out flyers that show the procedure of getting birth certificates and national identity cards.

They have so far visited Bula Iftin, Bula Sambul, Bula Mzuri among other villages in Garissa town.