Kenya: Govt Says Huduma Namba Cards Ready for Issuance

20 October 2020

The government announced that it was ready to start issuing Huduma Namba cards to Kenyans.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i made the announcement on Tuesday as he presented President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret with the first sample Huduma Namba cards.

Dr Matiang'i said the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) process was only awaiting rollout after Parliament vets and approves the Data Commissioner nominee.

The Head of State, while speaking during Mashujaa Day celebrations held at Gusii Stadium in Kisii County, said the Huduma Namba cards will soon be rolled out to Kenyans.

"We are now ready to start issuing cards to Kenyans, so that they can start getting them online and stop the long queues in government offices," the president said.

The government last week published the issuing regulations.

The Registration of Persons (National Integrated Identity Management System) Rules, 2020 will guide operations of Huduma Namba aimed at enhancing planning and public service delivery.

"The objects of these rules are to provide mechanisms for operation of the NIIMS (National Integrated Identity Management System) and facilitate the assigning of Huduma Namba and issuance of Huduma card to a resident individual," the legal notice by the Interior CS said.

Under the rules, Kenyans, eligible foreigners and refugees will be issued with their Huduma cards within 30 days after they are assigned the unique Huduma Namba.

All Kenyans of at least 18 years of age will be required to have the card while children who have attained six years will be issued with a minor's Huduma Namba.

"Any government agency requiring personal particulars of an individual shall, at the first instance, rely on the NIIMS database to authenticate the foundational data of an enrolled resident individual," Dr Matiang'i further added in the notice.

Some 38 million people had been registered by the time the Sh9.6 billion exercise closed in May last year, even as the process has been dogged by controversy amid claims that it would violate the rights of individuals.

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