I’m not to blame over IDs, says Kajwang
HOMA Bay Senator Otieno Kajwang has absolved himself from blame that he performed poorly during his tenure as Immigration minister.
He has been accused of failing to register eligible voters in Nyanza.
Speaking in a talk-show at a vernacular station yesterday, Kajwang said that as the minister, he stretched his mandate by visiting every constituency in Nyanza to advocate for mobile registration service but got little funding from the government.
He said leaders like National Assembly Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo are insincere for accusing him of doing little to ensure that Nyanza youth acquired ID cards before the March 4 general election.
Midiwo said this led to many youth being locked out of the 2013 polls.
“I visited all constituencies in Nyanza and only two in Central and Coast, which include Lari and Kwale, championing for the acquisition of ID cards,” Kajwang said.
“The funds to sensitise and register people were inadequate and only lasted a few weeks.”
Kajwang said it is now the responsibility of local leaders to continue championing for the youth to apply for IDs.
He welcomed the move by the government to lower the required age of registering for the ID to 12 years.
Kajwang allayed fears that lowering the mandatory age group of registering a person for an ID would lead to a rise in social evils including underage drinking.
He said the document will be used to keep data base.
“Lowering the age group should not be a cause for fear. It will help bar owners and other social institutions to easily trace those who are under 18 years and those eligible to patronise such places,” Kajwang said.
He said the new generation card will ensure that all individual’s vital data is available at the click of a button.
Kajwang said that if there was such data before the Westgate Mall attack, the victims would have been easily identified without involving foreign experts, which is costly.
He said currently people are identified using birth certificates making it difficult to keep track of individuals as some mothers give birth at home where data of the new born is not taken.