The government on Wednesday announced that the current National Identification Card (ID card) will be phased out by December 12, 2021 and replaced by the Huduma Namba cards.
Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, while speaking at Machakos Golf Club during the roll out of Huduma Namba Card distribution, said the government will begin the nationwide rollout of the cards next month.
This follows the swearing in of Data Commissioner Immaculate Kassait on Monday, an exercise which paved way for national roll out of the Huduma Namba Cards.
During Mashujaa Day celebrations in Kisii, the government announced that it was ready to start issuing Huduma Namba cards to Kenyans.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i made the announcement as he presented President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta with the initial sample cards.
The Head of State, while speaking during Mashujaa Day celebrations at Gusii Stadium, said the Huduma Namba cards will soon be rolled out to all 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 then.
The government in October also 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.
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 card.
"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.