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Kenyan IDPs to miss out in voting

NYAHURURU, Kenya, Apr 12 – Eight thousand IDPs at Mawingu camp in Nyandarua Central district are unlikely to vote at the forthcoming referendum for lack of national Identity Cards.

The IDPs told a commissioner with the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) Winnie Waceke Guchu that their  IDs got burnt while others got lost at the height of the 2008 post election violence.

“We have 5,000 adults with no IDs here. Three thousand youths have also attained the age of 18 but have always been turned away by registration officials who tell them to go to Rift Valley or other places where they were born to apply for the IDs from there,” claimed Camp chairman Peter Kariuki.

The commissioner also heard that youths who had their IDs at the camp were not considered during the recruitment of the voters registration clerks since they were considered to be outsiders.

The law requires one to be a resident of the area where he applies to work as a registration clerk, and the only proof that one can produce is an Identification card.
Their IDs read other places. “It has never crossed my mind that there were such issues that needed a special attention. I must apologise on behalf of the commission,” Ms Guchu responded.

She said that thousands of people had ID waiting sheets to signify that they had already applied for the cards and were only waiting for them from the government, but they could register as voters as IIEC does not recognise the documents.

Ms Guchu appealed to the registrar of persons to liaise with the IIEC officials in their respective areas to ensure Kenyans acquire the identity cards.

She said that the cooperation would also enable more people to register as voters thereby getting a chance to determine the way they are governed.

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Although the IDPs wanted to have a polling station at their camp, the commissioner said it was not possible since those in use were gazetted during the last polls.

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