Why State is set to roll out second Huduma Namba registration drive
The Government will put in place measures to roll out the second phase of the Huduma Namba programme, Interior Ministry Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho has said.
This comes following Thursday's judgment by a three-judge High Court bench, which validated the legitimacy of the Huduma Namba, also referred to as the National Identity Integrated Management Systems (NIIMS).
A consolidated petition by the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), the Nubian Rights Forum and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) had challenged the legality of the NIIMS platform in court.
The Government was in the end vindicated on most of the issues that were raised. Chief among these, was that the State, through involved Agencies, had adequately and sufficiently invited public participation in the process to amend the Registration of Persons Act to create NIIMS and the miscellaneous amendment Acts.
It was also ruled that the move was constitutional. Moreover, the Court was satisfied that the Data Protection Act, enacted in 2019, provides adequate safeguards on data protection, the right to privacy and children’s rights.
With the judgment read by Judges Pauline Nyamweya, Mumbi Ngugi and Weldon Korir, Kibicho said the Government will now implement legislation, policies and a regulatory framework for Kenyans to finally acquire a Huduma Namba and a Huduma Card.
He said that there will also be the establishment of NIIMS.
“Upon the roll-out of this phase, the public will immensely benefit from ease of service delivery and other advantages that comes with a unique identification number,” said Kibicho
“In this regard, the Government will immediately start preparing for the exercise, clean up the relevant pieces of legislation and provide regular updates to the members of public on the state of implementation of the project,” divulged Solicitor General, Kennedy Ogeto.
Enrolment of minors into the Huduma Namba Program by the Government was judged by the court to be okay as long as consent was sought from the minor’s parents or guardians.
With the go-ahead, Kibicho said the Government now has the legal mandate and backing to continue providing dignified services to Kenyans in a timely, improved and effective manner.
President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the NIIMS mass registration exercise on April 2, 2019 in Machakos County.
By the end of the 45-day exercise at a cost of Sh7.5 billion, the Government had captured data of over 37 million Kenyans and foreign nationals residing in the country. The process was also a source of employment for thousands of youth who were earning Sh1, 500 a day.
With the roll-out of the second phase imminent, the NIIMS database will now serve as a reference point for ease of service delivery to Kenyans.
“Registering for Huduma Namba will enable the government plan and offer services to you in a faster and more efficient manner and also allow for appropriate resource planning and allocation,” explained Kibicho said.
NIIMS will also harmonise and integrate the national population database for enhanced efficiency in Government service delivery.
It will address duplication in registration, reduced operational costs and detected fraud and impersonation.