We want 'Vipande', youths tell Kibaki, Raila
BY BEAUTTAH OMANGA
A national youth forum now wants President Kibaki to intervene and end an embargo in the issuance of Identification cards (Vipande) now in its third month.
The National Youth Forum said on daily basis Kenyan youth attained the mandatory ID acquisition age of 18 and that suspending the exercise for three months will deny tens of thousands the vital document.
The NYF officials, Caroline Ruto (Chairman) and officials Catherine Omanyo and George Nyongesa called on the President and Prime Minister to intervene and have funds released for the exercise.
‘It is like somebody somewhere wants to lock the youth out of job markets and eventually out of the next general elections. An explanation by the government that the department concerned had run short of the materials used in processing cards does not add up,” said Ruto.
She said the government knew all along that the stocks were running out and it should have made necessary arrangements to acquire the materials needed.
“The youth in this country are the majority and this time round they want to turn up in large numbers in electing leaders under a new constitution as they take control of their political future and denying them IDs amounts to insubordination on the part of the government’ said Omanyo.
In February 2011 Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang announced the suspension of the exercise citing lack of documents.
Kajwang also revealed that no new IDs had been issued since late 2010 after the government froze the issuance of work permits and citizenship certificates.
"It's two years since the tender was cancelled and still no steps have been made in the direction of re-advertising. We have had many meetings. I have asked for some progress, and the Cabinet has been pushing but nothing seems to be going on," Mr Kajwang' had stated at an earlier press conference.
Government spokesman Alfred Mutua later explained that the issuance had not been suspended and that the only issue had been expiry of the contract for supply of required material for the generation of Identity Cards, which he said, was then going through the tendering process.
"As a result there has been a slow down but not halting of issuance of identity cards," Dr Mutua said.
The minister also accused some forces in government of blocking re-advertisement of a tender for production of third-generation identity cards.
The minister expressed frustrations that nothing seemed to be moving despite efforts by his ministry and the Cabinet to resolve the matter.
He said the matter had taken longer than anticipated because when the tender was originally advertised, one of the bidders disputed the list that was drawn up.
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