Huge support for children’s ID cards
The days of Nairobi’s child gangsters may soon be over as the Government moves to issue digitalised identity cards to children aged between 12 and 18.
Currently, only persons aged 18 and above are allowed to have national ID cards.
The registration will be biometric and it will include fingerprints as well as facial features and eyes.
This will make it easy for security officers to identify those involved in crime and where they come from at the click of a mouse.
Kenya Post Primary Union of Teachers (Kuppet) secretary general Mr Akello Misori supports the idea.
“Terrorists want to use youngsters. Identification and registration will tame juvenile gangs,” he said.
The Government on Tuesday said the children would be issued IDs during a fresh registration of all citizens in the country.
Registration will lead to formation of a database. The ID number would be of essence as security personnel would just need to feed it to the system to identify an offender.
“The idea of a database on the number of young people is excellent. It will make it possible to track and account their actions,” he said.
On Friday NairobiNews detailed how child gangs have been terrorising residents of Eastleigh, Dandora, Kayole, Kibera, Baba Ndogo and Mukuru.
The Kuppet chief said it would help cluster young people and make it easy for Members of Parliament to come up with policies to help them especially at this time when there are reports youth radicalisation.
The idea was also supported by Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) chairman Joseph Karuga.
The Kenya National Association of Parents secretary general Musau Ndunda suggested that the cards be given to children as young as six.
“The documents will help keep track of young people. Children should never be used to commit evil,” he said.
At the same time, teenagers think the identity cards would give them freedom to do what they have not have been allowed to.
Kevin Otieno, 16 said the ID would make him access crucial services.
“It means freedom. I will not need to use my brothers’ or parents’ ID to register for M-Pesa and withdraw cash,” he said.
He said IDs would enable those who completed high school before attaining 18 years to apply and get university loans from the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) and other agencies.
Parents too have their own concerns. Maria Kimani, mother of a 15-year-old is one of them.
“Children are vulnerable and they may want to try everything done by adults once they are issued with these documents,” she said.