Rights group seeks to block Huduma Namba project

Interior PS Karanja Kibicho and his ICT counterpart Jerome Ochieng during the Huduma Namba launch across 15 counties on February 18, 2019. /COURTESY
Interior PS Karanja Kibicho and his ICT counterpart Jerome Ochieng during the Huduma Namba launch across 15 counties on February 18, 2019. /COURTESY

Kenya Human Rights Commission has moved to court challenging the pilot programme of the National Integrated Identity Management System dubbed ‘Huduma Namba’.

The government on Monday started testing the

Sh6 billion plan to register 50 million Kenyans for a digital database.

The

pilot project is being conducted in 15 counties.

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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 them to access services like applying for an ID, passport or driving licence or a birth certificate.

Mass registration of persons across the country has been scheduled to begin on March 18.

However, in a statement, KHRC questioned the legality of

NIIMS.

“NIIMS was sneaked in through Miscellaneous Amendment Act 2018 that made a major amendment to the Registration of Person Act, inserting a statement that provides the legal basis for the project,” the statement reads in part.

“Miscellaneous Amendments do not give room for facilitating public involvement. NIIMS will have a substantial effect on individuals once implemented, hence ought to have been subjected to public participation."

The rights group

has also sued National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Attorney General Kariuki Kihara, Cabinet secretaries Fred Matiang'i (Interior), Joe Mucheru (ICT) and the Kenya Law Reform.

KHRC said the Huduma Namba functions the same way like the

Integrated Population Registration System which is already working.

The case will be heard on February 21.

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