Ugandans living in Kenya urge government to help them get IDs

Sabina Lele, a Ugandan married in Kenya since 1997 but has not obtained a Kenyan ID card
Sabina Lele, a Ugandan married in Kenya since 1997 but has not obtained a Kenyan ID card

A Ugandan woman who is married to a Kenyan has appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and help them acquire ID cards saying they cannot go back to their country of birth.

Sabina Lele, 32, a total orphan, said she got married to a Kenyan husband in 1997 and are blessed with seven children.

“For two decades I have tried in vain to obtain a Kenyan ID card so that I can exercise my democratic right to participate in the Kenyan elections like my husband,” she said, “I am not alone. The number of Ugandan women married to Kenyans is big but the majority of us have not acquired Kenyan ID cards. We are now sending our plea to President Kenyatta to intervene and help us,” she added.

Lele, a resident of the sprawling Marachi estate in Busia Town sells bananas to fend for the family. Her husband works in Mombasa as a hotelkeeper.

A Busia resident who spoke on condition of anonymity said it took him over 17 years to secure an ID card for his wife who is from Uganda.

“There are many women from Uganda who are married in Kenya. I blame legislators from the County who are not pushing in parliament to amend such draconian laws,” he said.

An aspirant for Senate in Busia County Hillary Mainga said he pushed this through his 3K Movement but MPs never took any initiative.

“My Kitambulisho, Kura, Kupiga (3K) Movement had petitioned MPs to come up with a legislation that will ensure married women get IDs without difficulties. In this petition, 3K Movement had proposed that issuance of IDs be done instantly just like a voters card is issued because the two are government documents. Upon successful vetting of an ID applicant, one should get it instantly,” he said.