More than a hundred Migori town Muslims on Thursday protested peacefully against what they termed as ‘frustrations they undergo’ while seeking National Identity Cards at the registrar of persons’ offices.
Led by their senior elders, the irate Muslims claimed several of their sons and daughters who had attained 18 years and above, with some waiting to join universities and colleges could have their dreams shattered due to failure to acquire National Identification Cards.
Sheikh Ali Mohammed, the Chairperson of Muslims residing in Migori, regretted that their children have been denied their legal right to acquire the National Identification despite meeting all the legal requirements.
He claimed that this had directly affected them as some of their children had completely failed to report to universities due to lack of National ID which is a requirement to access government study loans.
Mohammed also faulted the current government ID vetting system which he says it does not fast track the process of acquiring important citizenship documents.
“My parents were buried here and I also acquired the national ID, which means my children should acquire their national registration from here,” he said,
He appealed to the government to ensure fairness while doing the vetting process, where he requested that Muslims to be considered when organizing the vetting committee.
“We urge the leaders from Migori to do a follow up to ensure our children acquire the National ID and get access to all government opportunities since we are all Kenyan,” the chairman added.
Zeitun Hussein said that she was born in Migori and started school at Migori primary school being able to speak Luo language fluently, but she was not happy in the way the national registration of persons office is handling Migori Muslims.
She however challenged the National Government and the County Government of Migori to give them equal services and job opportunities as per the constitution.
“When it comes to election season, Muslims are always considered Migori residents as people lobby for votes, but when times of opportunities come they have always been neglected,” Zeitun complained.
The Migori Muslim Community repeatedly claimed that they had always been disregarded and branded as terrorists and criminals who should not be given the national identity cards at all.
On his part, Migori County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich told demonstrating Muslims who later took complaints to his office that proper documentation should always be produced to convince the committees certifying the issuance process.
He said no nobody will be denied the right to own National ID, as long as due process has been followed.
But Cherutich confirmed to lead the process of replacing National IDs vetting committee members whose serving time has expired, as part of the solution in dealing with the issue.
By Eric Oduor/Geoffrey Satia