Uhuru Kenyatta, First Lady Margaret receive first Huduma Namba cards

Uhuru Kenyatta, First Lady Margaret receive first Huduma Namba cards

President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Tuesday received their Huduma Namba cards.

Attorney General Paul Kihara Kariuki presented the cards to them during the Mashujaa Day celebrations at at Gusii Stadium in Kisii County.

“On behalf of my colleagues in the inter-ministerial committee on this historic day I would like to report that the process is now complete and we have developed the Huduma Namba. Your Excellency, today you and the First Lady will be the first recipients of the sample Huduma Namba card which we hope will be rolled out as soon as the National Assembly completes the process of the appointment of the Data Commissioner as directed by the High Court,” Interior CS Fred Matiang’i said.

The Cabinet Secretary then invited President Kenyatta to hand out 10 other Huduma Namba cards for validation to ten individuals and offer guidance on the rollout that he said will be in strict adherence to the directions of the High Court.

The Head of State and the First Lady who were donning face masks stood up to receive their cards then held them up for Kenyans at the stadium to see.

The other 10 Kenyans who received the cards were announced as Laban Ouru Siro, Evans Amenya Bosire, Aloyce Mosoti Okero, Sylvester Achuka Mose, Boniface Moseti Oyaro, Evans Gwaro Nchoga, Kevin Bwire Mubadi, Lawrence Nyaluga Omambia, Evans Michael Mose, Henry Lerioka Nyabuto Onderi.

In November last year, President Kenyatta signed the Data Protection Bill into law setting the stage for the controversial Huduma Namba.

President Kenyatta said it would transform civil registration and data management in the country but also tame corruption and fast-track the implementation of the Big 4 development agenda.

The new law created the position of a Data Commissioner who will oversee the operations of keeping data for Kenyans safe.

“The Bill sets out the requirements for the protection of personal data processed by both public and private entities,” a statement from PSCU said.

Pundits opine that the move by President is linked to the court case over Huduma Namba registration that was filed on grounds that Kenya had no legislation on data protection.

Huduma Namba, otherwise known as National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS), was introduced in April 2019.

It is a unique and permanent personal identification number assigned to every resident individual to ensure such individual is distinctly identifiable.

According to the Huduma Bill 2019, the unique number is to be assigned to every resident individual at birth or upon enrollment.

It is to be the single source of personal identification for citizens and persons resident in Kenya, harmonizing other national registration processes such as signing up for Identity Cards, National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Birth and Death certificates or the Personal Identification Number (PIN) among others.

The government had already rolled out registration with requirements including fingerprints and other biometric data for identification.

However, on April 1, the High Court ruled that the government should not make the exercise mandatory or issue deadlines for the collection of NIIMS data.