We’re called Shabaab for lack of IDs – lo­cals

They have to travel 250km to ac­quire one

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Northeastern - LEWIS NYAUNDI @X_nyaun­diH

Res­i­dents of Man­dera East say they are branded So­mali refugees and al Shabaab for lack of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion cards. They said they are ha­rassed by se­cu­rity forces.

“The se­cu­rity forces here are so tough. If they find you walk­ing and they ask for your iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card and you do not have it, they brand you al Shabaab or even a So­mali refugee, ha­rass you and even lock you up,” a res­i­dent of Man­dera Town­ship said.

Area MCA Feizal Ab­di­noor said res­i­dents find it hard to travel 250km to El-Wak in search of ID cards. “We want to ask the gov­ern­ment to bring back the ID regis­tra­tion process to Man­dera East. El-Wak is quite a dis­tance and [find­ing] trans­port to get there is a ma- jor prob­lem,” Feizal said.

ID is­suance in Man­dera East was stopped in Au­gust 2013, fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions of non-Kenyans ac­quir­ing them through du­bi­ous means. But Man­dera East Regis­trar of Per­sons Said Salim Dhadho in Fe­bru­ary said his of­fice re­sumed is­suance in March 2015.

He said res­i­dents miss out on jobs as many do not have ID cards. Feizal said chiefs pro­vide wrong in­for­ma­tion about peo­ple’s place of birth.

“Most of the chiefs here are not well ed­u­cated, thus will in­di­cate in­for­ma­tion of ar­eas they op­er­ate and not where the ap­pli­cant comes from. This has led to lack of op­por­tu­ni­ties for our res­i­dents and even jobs,” he said.

Res­i­dents said they are forced to pay the vet­ting team that is re­spon­si­ble for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of birth cer­tifi­cates, school cer­tifi­cates and age as­sess­ment cer­tifi­cates.

STATE STOPPED IS­SUANCE OF IDS IN MAN­DERA EAST 2013, BUT RE­SUMED LAST YEAR

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