Preliminary Huduma Namba Regulations Suggest Linking the Database with Government Agencies

Huduma Namba

Huduma NambaBy now, most of us are aware of the details of Huduma Namba, its reasons and why it has sparked controversy. The unique identifier has not been assigned to people, yet. Initially, it had been promised that people who availed themselves are registrations would be given the numbers a few weeks after the conclusion of the exercise.

In its defence, the database project has been marred by issues, including court cases that questioned the legality of the process.

Furthermore, it was ruled that it was not actually mandatory to pick Huduma Namba. The ruling has, however, been clouded by conflicting information, including citations from senior government officials who have since said unregistered individuals will not receive government services.

If history serves us all right, then Huduma Namba is mandatory, and it is highly likely it will be attached to government services. The same history has also shown us that this is a safe space for officials who ignore court orders, so the initial ruling probably means nothing, and is just there for show.

That aside, Huduma Namba regulations have been published, and they detail the interpretations of National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS), its structure and components, and how individuals are enrolled in the database.

The document is not long, but I will pick interesting points from it. it is also worth noting that the regulations are there for your input and general public engagement.


NIIMS will consist of three main parts: the database, Huduma Namba and Huduma Card.

The database, as you have been told a million times, will serve as the main source of foundational data for every registered Kenyan.

Roles of NIIMS

The database will enable the use of biometric data to identify an enrolled resident in Kenya.

NIIMS will facilitate the use of data in the database to assign Huduma Namba, issue Huduma Card, passport and support access and issuance of electronically generated copies of identity documents.

Huduma Card

This will be issued to residents who have registered for the unique personal identification number. The card will be issued 30 days from the date of registration.

Issuance of the number will be done at the registration point, but that was not the case in the first and last registration exercise.

Type of Huduma Cards

The following cards will be issued: minor’s Huduma card for those who have attained the age of 6 years; the standard, adult Huduma card for those for +18 years individuals; refugee’s Huduma card and foreign national’s Huduma card.

Newborns, by the way, will be enrolled into NIIMS immediately after the registration of the birth.

Updating Huduam details

Registered Kenyans may edit their Huduma details by submitting a request to a registration officer and the particulars to be updated. The officer will then verify the particulars before updating the database.

Government agency use cases

According to the preliminary regulations, ‘a 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.’

Lastly, a government agency that relies on foundational data of a Kenya to deliver services may be linked with NIIMS. This, according to the regulations, will help the agency authenticate personal data with what NIIMS has and transmit, access or retrieve foundational data needed for the agency to execute its functions.

The regulations can be read here.