New Huduma Namba listing pushes cost to Sh10.6bn


Holders of National Integrated Identity Management System (Niims) number, popular as Huduma Namba, will still be required to use their national identity cards. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The Treasury has set aside Sh1 billion for a second round of Huduma Namba registration to cover those who missed the first phase in 2019.

The National Integrated Identity Management Systems (Niims) registered 38 million in the initial round, with the new allocation now bringing the total cost of the exercise to Sh10.6 billion.

“A safe and secure environment remains a prerequisite for achieving Big Four Agenda. “Allocations have been made including Sh1 billion for the second mass registration of Huduma number,” Treasury CS Ukur Yatani said in the budget statement yesterday.

Huduma Namba cards were supposed to replace identity cards but the exercise has been dogged by legal challenges and the perceived slow issuance of the cards.

The Nubian Rights Forum and Kenya Human Rights Commission sued the government over the platform, citing a lack of laws or policy on data protection and that Niims would violate rights to privacy.

The High Court, however, quashed the case on condition that the State enact a law on protection of personal data.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru gazetted the Data Protection (Civil Registration) Regulations, 2020 that restrict access to personal data on registration of births, adoptions, persons, issuance of passports, registration of marriage and deaths.

Under the regulations, civil registration entities have been barred from transferring personal data captured under Huduma Namba for registration outside Kenya.

The State has since published the Registration of Persons (National Integrated Identity Management System) Rules, 2020, giving the exercise legal backing.