The Commission on Administrative Justice (Office of the Ombudsman) has initiated an inquiry into allegations of discrimination in the issuance of national IDs in Wajir County and other border regions. Led by Vice-Chairperson Washington Opiyo Sati and Commissioner Lucy Ndungu, the inquiry aims to address complaints of delays and discrimination against residents, particularly those of Somali ethnic origin.

Conducted in collaboration with the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance, the week-long inquiry seeks to document barriers and challenges faced by citizens in obtaining vital documents such as national IDs, passports, and birth certificates. These documents are essential for citizens to exercise their basic rights and access public services, including healthcare, education, and voting.

The commission emphasizes that government agencies have a constitutional obligation to ensure the efficient processing of these documents for all Kenyan citizens, without discrimination or unnecessary delays. Without proper documentation, citizens may face difficulties in employment, accessing legal services, banking, and travel.

Key objectives of the inquiry include identifying challenges in acquiring national identity documents, passports, and birth/death certificates, as well as examining obstacles faced by state actors involved in processing ID cards. The commission will audit the procedures for issuing ID cards and identify any loopholes contributing to alleged discrimination.

Ultimately, the inquiry aims to make policy, legislative, and administrative recommendations to the government to improve the registration processes and address issues of discrimination in ID issuance.

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