- As next year's General Election nears, politicians have been calling on citizens over the age of 18 to register for ID cards.
- However an official has raised concerns over the overcrowding at the registration offices by youths saying it was going against Covid-19 containment measures.
Homa Bay registration office has criticised politicians for pushing youths to get IDs only when they want to accomplish their agenda.
Homa Bay director of registration services Rosana Bongwe said such clarion calls when elections are approaching cause unnecessary pressure to officials and the youths.
She said registration service offices get congested as people look for IDs during the campaign seasons as opposed to other periods.
As next year's general election nears, several politicians not only in Homa Bay but across the country have been calling on citizens over the age of 18 to register for ID cards.
In the recent past, Homa Bay politicians led by Governor Cyprian Awiti have asked politicians seeking various elective positions in the county to mobilise youths to register for IDs and voter’s cards.
Awiti encouraged youths to register as voters in large numbers and ensure they participate in the 2022 General Election.
But on Tuesday, Bongwe criticised the call on youths to register in large numbers.
“It is high time politicians stopped this habit of pressurising youths to register for IDs only when they need their vote to get to office. Clerks also find it hard to help everybody at that particular time,” Bongwe said.
She said they were already getting up to more than 1,000 ID applications across the county in a month.
Bongwe also faulted youths who stay back at home and wait for politicians to urge them to go and register for both IDs and voters cards.
She raised concerns over the overcrowding at the registration offices by youths saying it was going against Covid-19 containment measures and risked fuelling the spread of the virus.
Bongwe called on the youths who are 18 years and above to voluntarily register for IDs and as voters without necessary having to be reminded by politicians.
“We currently have more than 6,000 uncollected IDs in our offices across the county. I don’t know whether the applicants are waiting for politicians to tell them to go and pick the cards,” she added.
Some of the IDs which have not been collected were delivered to the offices five years ago.
Bongwe challenged politicians concerned about the welfare of their electorates to work with national government administrators on how the IDs can get to their owners.
She asked them to facilitate chiefs and their assistants to collect and distribute the documents to their owners.
Clerks are already preparing to start mass voter registration in October.
“There is also need for the elected leaders in the county to facilitate clerks to conduct mass ID registration in remote areas,” she said.
-Edited by SKanyara