Following increasing cases of terrorism in the country, the government in 2010 declared mandatory vetting of persons before issuing them with national identity (ID) cards.
The move aimed at safeguarding national security, had direct implications on some communities, notably Kenyan-Somalis spread across the country.
It has now emerged that their woes have deepened with the Covid-19 pandemic which has greatly paralyzed the vetting process of the young adults seeking to be holders of the vital document.
Nakuru Muslim youth leader Abdulahi Adan explained that in the last two years, young Somalis had not been issued with national ID cards which has greatly affected their lives.
Missed Government Opportunities
Adam added that this has denied the youth access to various opportunities in government and private sector, where an ID is mandatory. In addition, they cannot access several services including banking.
Jamia Mosque Imam Adam Adhman says the ID hiccup has also affected adults who need to travel outside the country for business and religious trips.
He explained that the immigration offices have been reluctant to issue them with passports directing them to have the applications made directly in Nairobi.
Thousands of Muslims
Among the most affected areas is Kambi Somali in Bondeni, Nakuru East which is home to thousands of members of the Muslim community of Somali descent.
The government says the delays have been occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has seen the vetting committees suspend their sittings.
Nakuru East Deputy County Commissioner Eric Wanyonyi explained that the provincial administration had engaged the Directorate of Registrar of persons to expedite the process of issuing the IDs.