• “We know there are about 40,000 people who are yet to go through the process, we urge the state to ensure those Kenyans are given their identity cards,” Bashir said.
• The government launched the delisting and vetting of refugees in December 2019.
Over 12,000 Garissa residents who had initially been registered as refugees and got deregistered have been issued with identity cards and urged to visit the nearest IEBC registration centres and get registered as voters.
Some 14,000 refugees were on Wednesday delisted from the UNHCR database and issued with ID cards after years without citizenship.
Their leaders described the event as historic and one that will end the victims misery.
They also expressed gratitude to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration for helping the group get their citizenship.
During the exercise, hundreds of refugees turned up at Garissa Primary School playground and queued in the scorching sun for more than six hours.
Interior CAS Hussein Dado who represented CS Fred Matiang’i said 12,500 identity cards were ready for collection while about 1,500 are being processed.
He said the delisting process was thorough and the vetting of victims involved security checks from chiefs, elders, national intelligence, military and DCI.
“The registration of voters is ongoing. We ask you to take your voters card immediately you get your identity cards,” Dado urged residents.
Dado was accompanied by director of National Registration Reuben Kimotho as well as the director of refugees and Huduma Namba officials.
Senator Abdul Haji, former governor Nathif Jama, MPs Mohamed Dahiye (Dadaab), Mohamed Hire (Lagdera), Sofia Abdinoor (Ijara) and Abdikarim Osman (Fafi) were also present.
The government launched the delisting and vetting of refugees in December 2019.
Kimotho said the delay in issuance of the documents was occasioned by the need to include experts in the exercise.
“There were also legal hurdles that we wanted cleared, we however apologise for the delays of your identity cards,” he said.
The issuance of the IDs comes at a time when the Independent and Electoral Boundaries commission has launched the second phase of voter registration.
“From today, our people can enjoy their rights like any other Kenyan. We thank everyone who worked to have this day realised,” former governor Nathif Jama said.
Yussuf Bashir the executive director for Haki Na Sheria, a grassroots human right organisation that has been lobbying for the delisting, urged the government to fast track the process for those who are yet to go through it.
“We know there are about 40,000 people who are yet to go through the process, we urge the government to ensure those Kenyans are given their identity cards,” he said.
(Edited by Bilha Makokha)