Nakuru county is the place where the registration of Maisha Namba will be begin. The government is set to kick off this exercise next week from the 1st of October.
This will end a period of unsuccessful attempts to issue Kenyans with the Maisha Namba. Now, the government believes it is has learnt and its ready.
“The government has been trying this. There have been four attempts, but none has succeeded because of exclusivity. This time round, we want to get it right by ensuring that we listen to every person who has a different idea or opinion,” stated Julius Bitok ,the Principal Secretary State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services.
Maisha Namba is a 14-digit Unique Personal Identifier (UPI). Maisha is a Swahili word for life and the card is meant to serve a Kenyan for a lifetime. The government will issue the UPI to new-borns at birth and it will serve as the birth certificate, identification card, driver’s license and even death certificate.
In the past the government has stated the cards will not be made mandatory.
“I want to assure Kenyans that no one will be forced to take up Maisha Card. The current IDs will continue to be recognised as valid identification documents alongside the new card, “PS Bitok said in mid of September.
However, those who will need to replace the second-generation ID card will be issued with a new Maisha Card.
Maisha Namba Privacy Concerns
The government has been holding public participation sessions and sensitization exercises with various stakeholders, among them religious leaders, civil society organisations, the private sector and media.
Among the concerns raised have been issues around data privacy and data protection. There have also been concerns on the cost of the exercise. The PS clarified that the program had an existing budget and would not go back to Treasury for more funds.
Further, the government has seen to it that Maisha Namba fully complies with data protection laws and legal requirements. The PS assured Kenyans that their personal information will be secure.