Low budget signals Huduma cards scaledown

Aden Duale
National Assembly’s Leader of Majority Aden Duale. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The government has hinted at staggering the issuing of the ‘Huduma cards’ over a period of two years just five months after the court allowed completion of the stalled national biometric registration.

While the Interior ministry puts the Huduma cards printing bill at Sh1 billion, the Treasury has allocated just Sh500 million for the financial year starting July 1, and a further Sh2.05 billion for 2021/22. The estimates, tabled in Parliament by Leader of Majority Aden Duale, however, show that Sh1.51 billion was allocated for the National Integrated Identity Management System (Niims) in the current financial year.

The allocations are contained in the budget estimates for the Ministry of Interior for financial year 2021/22.

The roll-out of Niims, commonly known as Huduma Namba, began with a voluntary national registration exercise, which was conducted in April, 2019, at a cost Sh9.6 billion.

However, the Nubian Rights Forum and Kenya Human Rights Commission sued the government over the platform, saying Kenya did not have a law or policy on data protection. The country has since enacted a data protection Act.