What you need to know:
- They lamented that they were being blamed for the predicament facing their children by having their fingerprints captured in the refugees’ database.
- Thousands of youth in Garissa have become hopeless with little to do as they have no ID cards.
- He urged the State to help genuine Kenyans be removed from the UNHCR database and issued with identity cards.
A section of elders from Garissa County have appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and get a solution to thousands of youth without identity cards after their finger prints were captured in the UNHCR database.
Addressing journalists in Garissa Town, the elders said they were desperate to have their children get IDS.
They lamented that they were being blamed for the predicament facing their children by having their fingerprints captured in the refugees’ database.
“During the famine in 1991 we lost all our livestock and we had no one to turn to and nowhere to get food for our children from.
“Since UNHCR was giving food to refugees, we had to register to get food rations,” said Muhumed Gesi Issack.
Mr Issack, 70, said their children, after applying for national identity cards for several times in vain, have been told that chances of them to securing the documents are minimal since their fingerprints are in UNHCR data base.
He said thousands of youth in Garissa have become hopeless with little to do as they have no ID cards.
He added that the only mistake they, as parents made, was looking for food rations from UNHCR oblivious of the mess they had exposed their children to.
“I was born in Garissa and got married here and my children have never been to another country. Now they can’t move out of their houses because police will always ask them for IDs,” he said.
TASK FORCE REPORT
In January 2015, a task force formed by the President to look into the matter visited Garissa and collected views from the victims while promising to deliver their findings to the head of State.
“We appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto to urgently intervene and help our children Identity cards or even jail us because we contributed to the problem of having our children’s details in the UNHCR database,” he added.
Shafi Abdi Ahmed, 61, told journalists that his six grown up children who are married with their own children are without the legal document and there is no hope for his grandchildren to acquiring IDs unless there is urgent intervention.
“I am a peace loving Kenyan and I have never been convicted of any criminal offence. Our biggest mistake was going after food rations which was prompted by incessant hunger brought about by famine that wiped out all our livestock. That is now denying our children the right to get Identity cards,” he said.
He urged the Jubilee administration to help genuine Kenyans be removed from the UNHCR database and issued with identity cards.
“Many children are now confined to their homes after completing their college and university education. They can’t secure any formal jobs and they can’t move freely because the government doesn’t recognise them as Kenyans. These people are at a risk of joining criminal groups out of desperation,” he told journalists.