By Irungu Mwangi
Over ten thousand (10,000) new identification cards have not been collected by their owners in Kirinyaga Central Sub County.
The cards have been lying at the District Registrar of Persons (DROP) for up to six months despite efforts to contact applicants to pick them up.
Consequently the chiefs and their assistants have now been directed to help in tracing the owners of the cards and ensure they collect them in readiness for voter registration in the next one month.
“We now require the chiefs to trace the applicants, majority of them who are youths who finished secondary schools.” Said the Principal Secretary Interior (PS), Karanja Kibicho.
“Youths are fond of blaming us for not processing ID’s and when the documents are brought they remain uncollected for a very long period,” said Kibicho during a media briefing at a Kerugoya hotel on Monday.
At the same time, the PS has ordered bar owners who have detained National Identity Cards as credit security for their patrons to return the documents immediately.
He said detaining the IDs was tantamount to a criminal offence since a Kenyan is required to carry his or her identification card all the time.
Kibicho said he was aware of some bar operators have retained the identity cards belonging to their customers who surrender them as security to enable them get beer on credit.
He said without the Ids the the owners will not even exercise their democratic rights to take part in the forthcoming general elections.
The PS also said when such bar patrons wants to transact any business, they cannot do so due to lack of the document and urged the bars owners who have retained such identifications cards to release them at once to their owners.
Accompanied by the Gichugu MP, Njogu Barua, Kibicho urged area residents to ensure they turn up to register as votes during the just kicked off month long exercise.
‘’Am told in this county alone there are 176,000 such unregistered voters and they should turn at the various registration centers without any further delay,’’ he said.