Thousands of Kenyans who wrongly registered as refugee will be deregistered after the government launched 30-day vetting exercise.
Interior CS Fred Matiang’i said the government was aware of the circumstances under which the citizens registered as refugees. He noted that while it constituted an offence punishable under the law, the government had resolved to pardon the affected persons.
“Many were attracted by the good life in the camps which includes free food, medical care and schooling. The decision to pardon these people is informed by the fact that majority committed the offense while they were minors,” he said.
Matiang’i’s speech was read by Interior Chief Administrative Secretary Patrick Ole Ntutu on Friday at Garissa Primary School.
It is estimated that there are 40,000 double registered persons in Kenya. Majority of these people claim to be Kenyans registered as refugees. The government has also given a window period to refugees who illegally acquired Kenyan citizenship documents to surrender to the authorities.
Matiang’i said attempts to solve the double registered issue was hit by logistical challenges in 2016 when 15,000 people applied to be deregistered.