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Economy

Biometric IDs listing set for this year after secret tender

ICT secretary Joe Mucheru.
ICT secretary Joe Mucheru. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya will conduct a fresh mass registration of people starting this year using a Sh3 billion biometric data listing kit that will collect details like ear, eye and voice patterns along with satellite details of their homes.

ICT secretary Joe Mucheru on Thursday said the registration will help improve planning, delivery of social services and security in the country.

Mr Mucheru said the cost of the biometric kit will be made public after two days, but sources at the Interior ministry reckon that the government will issue a Sh3 billion tender to acquire the technology through a restricted tender.

Adults applying for documents such as IDs will be required to provide additional information about their location, including land reference number, plot number or house number.

The ministry is also seeking to introduce Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates in the registration of persons, enabling the tracking of their location via satellite.

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Unique personal attributes such as fingerprints, hand and earlobe geometry, retina and iris patterns and voice waves will be kept in the digital database and physical form.

“The registration process will start this year. It will be conducted by the Interior ministry and will start at the sub-location level,” said Mr Mucheru. “One of the initiatives is registering all the 45 million Kenyans biometrically so that everyone will have a single and unique identity. Today you have your ID which is given by the National Registration Bureau, the driving licence, passport and others.”

The process is supported by recent amendments to the Registration of Persons Act of 2015 under the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2018.

The proposed setting up of the National Integrated Identity Management System will ensure that all IDs, refugee cards, birth and death certificates as well as driving licences and passports are printed and distributed for collection from a central location.

The new system will be a single source of personal information of all Kenyans and registered foreigners.

“We want to make sure that from cradle one has a unique ID and is able to access all government services since one can be identified,” said Mr Mucheru.

Earlier this year, the government captured in the National Education Information Management System (Nemis) data of primary and secondary school students through a mass registration exercise that gave each a unique identification number.

The fresh registration also seeks to replace names of tribe and race with county of birth or residence.

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