, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 – Nubians living in Kibera has threatened to boycott voting during the August polls as a result of what they claim is discrimination and delays against the community in the process of issuance of Identification Cards.
According to the Nubian Rights Forum, some members of the community are asked to provide additional documents like religious certificates and their grandparents’ identity cards to get IDs.
The organisation’s chairman Shafi Ali Hussein further stated that unlike other Kenyans, Nubians have to be questioned by two vetting committees and even swear an affidavit in support of their claim of citizenship.
“Being an election year, some members of the community are definitely hindered from practicing their political rights as voters as enshrined under Article 38 of the Constitution of Kenya. The community continues to face discrimination in the process of access to documentation because of their ethnicity and religion. The government has also employed a discriminatory process without reasonable justification in the process of acquisition of this vital document,” he stated.
Shafi says as a result, a perception is created that Nubians are not fully Kenyans citizens and the process causes severe delays of even up to four years in issuance of documents.
“All of you heard his Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta give a three days ultimatum that all youths should be given their National IDs. The question I want to ask his Excellency whether that three day ultimatum is exclusive of the Nubian community,” he posed.
He further stated that despite President Kenyatta’s instructions for the National Registration Bureau to process national identity cards within three days, they were still being treated the same way.
“Members of the Nubian community have been discriminated in the issuance of ID cards and in effect, all the benefits that accrue from possession of this document. This includes access to services, employment and participating in political processes,” he indicated.
The Head of State had ordered the National Registration Bureau to process national identity cards within three days while urging the youth to register as voters.
He stated that it should not take new applicants weeks to get their IDs but it should be done within three days so that as many Kenyans can register and take part in their constitutional right.
President Kenyatta had also cautioned local administrators against denying the youth identity cards and harassing them.
There have been claims that some chiefs were demanding bribes to release identity cards.