Kajiado residents condemn title deed demand to apply for IDs

Uncollected ID cards.

Some residents of Kajiado County have raised concerns about unfair rules for the issuance of national identity cards to their children.

They have claimed that for their children to acquire new ID cards showing Kajiado County as their place of birth, the parents must produce valid title deeds.

At a meeting in Kitengela on Saturday, the residents claimed this was a well-orchestrated scheme to deprive non-locals of their rights and deny them employment opportunities, especially in the county government.

The scheme is said to have been hatched by some of the local administrators in cahoots with the local registration officers.

The most affected areas are Kitengela, Isinya, Kiserian, Ongata Rongai and parts of Ngong.

Ms Jane Wangari, 65, told the Nation that her three adult children were forced to register her ancestral Murang'a County as their place of birth despite being born and brought up in Kajiado.  Ms Wangari has lived in Kitengela for over 35 years.

"These children do not know anyone in my ancestral home. I am married elsewhere, but my identity card still says I was born in Murang'a County. Their identity cards show Murang'a County as their place of birth and that is not true," she said.

Mr John Mutua was at pains to explain how he was forced to travel to Makueni, his county of birth, to register his son for a national identity card.

Mr Samson Kamau Kimunge said the title deed requirement was discriminatory.

"We know that a title deed is not one of the requirements for applying for ID cards. We are appealing to the national government to take action against the officials who are subjecting the locals to this pain," said Mr Kamau.

A local chief who spoke to the Nation in confidence said the title deed requirement was not a condition for applying for the new IDs. But he said he had received complaints from ID applicants.

"A title deed is not a requirement for new applicants. We have received such complaints, but our hands are tied," he said, without elaborating.

At the Kitengela ID registration office on Monday, many young people were busy filling in application forms, knowing that they may not be registered as residents of Kajiado County, where they were born.

Officials at the registrar's office declined to comment, saying they were not authorised to speak to the media.