There is no single day that elapses before the Government’s nationwide database for people under the NIIMs program aka Huduma Namba trends on social media platforms, mostly for the wrong reasons.
The registration exercise, which was kicked off a couple of weeks ago, but got suspended after the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) went to court to seek further clarification on the collection of biometric data without robust data protection laws, was picked up a few days ago amidst a series of complaints that are yet to be addressed.
While the High Court of Kenya ruled that registration was not mandatory, the exercise has since been marred by misinformation, some of which arise from government-based sources that conflict the Court’s ruling.
It is projected that up to 5 million Kenyans or more have secured their Huduma Namba, but the motivations behind the registration exercise have partially been attributed to possibility that the lion’s share of folks who took their time to queue and register for the ID were either misinformed it was mandatory to do so, or have been told that they will not access government services without the unique ID.
The latest development about Huduma Namba is that the unique identifier will not replace ordinary identity cards. Previously, it had been communicated that the Namba would be used universally for personal identification owing to other identification documents tied to it.
However, and according to Business Daily, Planning PS Julius Muia has revealed that this will not be the case (at least for some time) as the database has to be fully functional before Huduma Namba can be used a one-stop identifier for personal information.
It has also been noted that young people who are under 18 years of age will benefit from the database because it will indicate when applicants have attained the legal age to apply for an ID card. NIIMs targets to make the exercise as fast as possible.