A non-profit agency working in northeastern Kenya has claimed that the Interior Ministry’s 21-day directive for national identification cards application is not being followed.
In a statement, the Horizon Analysts and Researchers Network (HARN) said that they had followed-up on the matter and concluded the policy shift has not been implemented.
In February, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki instructed the Registrar of Persons to expedite the vetting and issuance of identification cards in border towns within three weeks.
On March 21, northern Kenyan leaders met with Immigration and Citizen Services Principal Secretary Julius Bitok who reiterated the policy change, abolishing mandatory vetting in Tana River, Isiolo, Marsabit, Garissa, Wajir, and Mandera counties as a prerequisite for issuance of IDs and other registration documents.
However, HARN Executive Director Siyad Jimale Amin reported that a baseline survey in Wajir South showed no significant changes.
“In the process that began on January 6 at Dadajabula Ward and ended on February 24 in Habaswein Ward, the mandatory vetting was commonplace and, in some instances, more vigorous,” Mr Amin said.
He noted that three months later, none of the applicants they interviewed had received their IDs.
“We are calling on the Interior Cabinet Secretary to enforce the new policy shift at the earliest time possible. We also urge all the leaders from the border constituencies to be in touch with their electorates and the realities on the ground,” he said.
Dadajabula Ward representative Sahal Mogow said that local administrators placed obstacles that required locals to pay for free government services when applying for IDs.
Mr Mogow appealed to the Interior Ministry to address these discriminatory practices and hold administrators accountable.