MP defends Kajwang’ over IDs

Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo has asked critics to stop blaming Homa Bay senator Otieno Kajwang’ over the high number of people from Nyanza region lacking identification cards.

He instead challenged politicians to adopt fresh strategies of driving the registration process in Nyanza.

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He said most politicians only blamed the former Immigration Minister yet they did not mobilise their constituents to register for IDs and as voters.

He said those pointing fingers at Mr Kajwang must stop, adding that the former minister turned around the Immigration department during his tenure.

“What have we done as MPs in our small way at the constituency level to bring more people to be registered as voters?” he asked.

The legislator said registration of persons was the only way to beat the tyranny of numbers that other regions boast of.

“We have many people in our region who have not been motivated enough to take identification cards; that is what we must do in Nyanza to have a strong voting bloc,” said Mr Gumbo.

He was reacting to allegations that the Homa Bay County Senator issued more ID cards to youths from regions where ODMs political opponents came from.

Mr Kajwang had also been blamed for issuing identification cards to illegal immigrants leaving out Kenyans who deserved them.

Mr Odinga’s performance in the poll in Nyanza and western Kenya, which are considered his strongholds, was below par compared to regions that overwhelmingly voted for the Jubilee alliance.

This is attributed to the fact that many people in the ODM strongholds failed to register in good time.

DEFENDED HIMSELF

Defending himself, Mr Kajwang’ said he worked hard to ensure as many eligible youths as possible in the whole country were registered to vote.

“We held mobile registration drives in all constituencies and the only problem was the low turnout for registration,” he said.

He was speaking during a boat racing competition at Kamin Oningo beach in Siaya County.

The boat race was organised to mark the Easter celebrations while at the same time encouraging more people register for IDs.

Mr Gumbo said the current security swoop on illegal immigrants must continue adding that in the process many people who did not care to have ID cards will be forced to get them.

“We have come to learn from the swoop that most beach residents don’t have the cards. In Rarieda, about 50,000 only out of the more than 100,000 eligible voters participated in the last general election because they lacked the crucial document,” he said.

Mr Gumbo further said that lack of contact between leaders and their constituents after elections was the reason for disconnect and the lack of understanding of development issues that affect them.

“We want to start early since the last minute rush to drive registrations has been our greatest undoing. The easiest way to get people to participate in a patriotic process is by fusing it with their lifestyle,” he said.

Officers from the registrar of persons in Bondo District processed IDs for hundreds of residents during the Easter weekend drive.–nation.co.ke

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