- With just five days to go before the month-long voter registration comes to an end, hundreds of Garissa residents will be locked out for lack of ID cards.
- In 2019, the government launched a 30 day vetting exercise which brought renewed hope to the 40,000 double registered victims.
With just five days to go before the month-long voter registration exercise comes to an end, hundreds of Garissa residents will be locked out for lack of ID cards.
Among those affected are residents whose fingerprints were captured in the refugee database.
In 2019, the government launched a 30-day vetting exercise which brought renewed hope to the 40,000 double registered persons.
The function was graced by the then Interior CAS Patrick ole Ntutu and other senior state officials including director of operations at National Registration Bureau Roben Kimotho, Commissioner for Refugee Affairs Kodeck Makori and other senior UNHCR officials.
What followed was a two-month stringent exercise which involved elders, chiefs, military and intelligence.
In October last year, Interior CAS Hussein Dado while on a tour of Garissa, said the victims had been successfully vetted and would undergo other stringent processes before they were issued with the ID cards.
On Monday, a section of leaders said that it was becoming obvious with each passing day chances of them registering as voters were slim.
Abdikheir Dubo, an aspirant for the Dadaab parliamentary seat, took issue with the long waiting period for the applicants whose fingerprints were captured in the refugee database.
He regretted how the exercise which started two years ago had stalled.
Residents expressed their disappointment at the snail pace at which the exercise was being carried out and called on the government to hasten the process.
“We were a very happy lot when the exercise was launched. We knew our people who are victims of circumstance would once again regain their citizenship and throughout the exercise we remained optimistic and cooperative,” Dubo said.
“We had hoped that by this time they will have got their ID cards so that they can register to exercise their constitutional right,” he said.
Dubo further called on the electorate to give each aspirant time to sell their manifestos peacefully without interfering with their campaigns.
His sentiments were echoed by elder Abdi sheikh who said as elders they will be at the forefront in preaching peace and chastising any candidate who will be out to disrupt prevailing peace.
Last Thursday, Garissa county election coordinator Hassan Gare said IEBC was targeting to register 53,074 voters but has only managed to register 7,374.
Gure said while the county might be among the top 10 in the country to register more than 7,000 people, the listing is still very low.
Leaders have attributed the low numbers to unemployment, lack of ID cards especially among the youth, drought, lack of enough sensitisation and manipulation of elections.
(Edited by Bilha Makokha)