The government on Monday started testing the Sh6 billion plan to register 50 million Kenyans for a digital database.
The National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) dubbed Huduma Namba
pilot project will be done in 15 counties.
They are Nairobi, Makueni, Uasin Gishu, Embu, Busia, Kajiado, Baringo, Marsabit, Kilifi, Kisii, Tana River, Embu, Kisumu, and Wajir.
Kenyans will be required to register for to access services like applying for an ID, Passport or driving licence or a birth certificate.
Mass registration of persons across the whole country has been scheduled to begin on March 18, 2019.
The NIIMS is a National programme for the mandatory registration of all Kenyan Citizens and registered foreigners resident in Kenya established in the 2018 Amendment of Registration of Persons Act Sec. 9A.
It is meant to get data for persons from the age of six and create and manage a central master population register.
One must be present at the registration centres for Biometrics.
The government further states that the exercise will run for 30 days only.
Huduma Namba will be a useful tool for the government to use in national planning, social services, project resource allocation and even project infrastructure.
In as much as your documents will be in the system, you will still need your Identification Card as the data entered in the system has to go through a verification process so as to be sure if the information goes hand in hand with what has already been recorded.
For foreigners especially short-term visitors or tourists, they will not be expected to get a Huduma Namba. Those who will be required to register are those with the status of students, workers and/or asylum seekers.
It will not cost you a shilling to register for Huduma Namba as it is a free government service.
However, Kenyans on Twitter have given their two cents on the biometric registration.
"#HudumaNamba, IEBC, Laptops Project, Cashless Transit, Safaricom CCTV....... The Kenyan Govt/ State Agencies love throwing money at flashy technological projects that do little in improving the quality of life for Kenyans, but they refuse to pay Nurses..... The devil is a liar," Hesbon said.
"It takes more than a month to register for elections but y'all be giving us 30 days for the #HudumaNamba biometric registration. Such clowns," Miss Mwari said.
Reverse Mentor said, "What's the point of a #HudumaNamba when I already have: - ID number - KRA number - DL number - NHIF number - NSSF number - Passport number... Kwani my purpose as a Kenyan is to collect numbers everywhere other than my bank account?"
Elisha said, "We refuse to get into what we don't understand. Why do we need a Huduma number? It is the work of Serikal to conduct a civil education on this. We don't want to come back crying loud that we were sold to the Chinese without our consent! We know these people!"
"I think they're serious, I'm off to my Chief's camp once and for all, get it over and done with before peculiar Kenyan behaviour ya last minute dash after the 30 days. I don't trust this mobile registration nor moving from home to home manenos, shambolic! #NIIMS #HudumaNamba," Caroline said.
Pauline wrote, "In future, I look forward to getting a smaller wallet as I won’t need to carry multiple cards for multiple purposes. The Huduma Card will have it all once it is rolled out; from NSSF to NHIF, to ID and School IDs will also have the same number etc. #HudumaNamba."
Pedro said, "Huduma namba will enhance the progress made by the Integrated Population Registration System (IPRS) and the national government will complete a central master population database."