By Rachel Sherman
In April, Coda Story’s Keren Weitzberg wrote about the biometric registration system in Kenya and the “double registered” ethnic Somali Kenyans left in limbo without ID cards.
The country’s biometric system was intended to reduce incidences of “double registration” — a problem that mainly affects ethnic Somalis with Kenyan citizenship who falsely registered as refugees in the 1990s in order to receive vital food aid. However, tens of thousands are still in limbo.
Earlier this week, member of parliament Aden Duale denounced Fred Matiang’i, the nation’s interior cabinet secretary, demanding an explanation for why 20,000 Kenyans are still ineligible for identification cards, including 18,500 stateless youths.
Garissa County, which Duale represents, has some of the highest numbers of double registrants in Kenya and is home to one of the world’s largest refugee camps. Over the past six years, government task forces have been created to delist Kenyan citizens from the national refugee database, with questionable success.
Duale requested a report of the vetting process from the Kenyan Interior Ministry, which heads the biometric registration project, and a statement from the security committee of the National Assembly.