QUESTIONS DATA SECURITY

Huduma Namba wastes public cash — Wetang'ula

Says the August census will do the same thing as Huduma and use more money

In Summary

• Says it duplicates the census

• Claims private information is vulnerable to abuse

Jubilee politician Suleiman Shahbal, Mombasa Speaker Aharub Khatri, Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir and Governor Hassan Joho during the Huduma Namba registration at Treasury Square, Mombasa, on Tuesday April 16, 2019
HUDUMA NAMBA Jubilee politician Suleiman Shahbal, Mombasa Speaker Aharub Khatri, Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir and Governor Hassan Joho during the Huduma Namba registration at Treasury Square, Mombasa, on Tuesday April 16, 2019
Image: CHARLES MGHENYI:

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula yesterday called the Huduma Namba registration is a waste of taxpayers’ money. 

Wetang'ula asked why the government has insisted on spending billions on biometric registration in the same year the country will spend more in the census that will "basically capture the same details".

The Bungoma senator termed the registration "wasteful".

"There is no need to close the country for two days conducting a census, then go to court to quarrel over the results as in 2009 when the minister in charge also challenged the same," Wetang'ula said during the Legislative Summit is Kisumu. 

He claimed citizens' information is exposed to abuse in the absence of a guiding law

"How safe is our data with Mastercard whose owners are foreigners?" he posed.

He said it raised questions about the security of the data collected in the absence of a legal framework to put it into operation.

While the government has confirmed this year’s census will be conducted on August 24 and 25, the Huduma registration is underway in all the 47 counties.

The system seeks to give each Kenyan a unique code, Huduma Namba, to facilitate access to government services.

A court ruled that it cannot collect DNA, cannot force registration and cannot withhold services to anyone without a number. A full hearing on the legality of the registration will be held on April 30.

The National Individual Integrated Management System (NIIMS) is meant to be a one-stop shop that creates, manages, maintains and operates a national register of personal details. 

The project was piloted in Nairobi, Makueni, Uasin Gishu, Embu, Busia, Kajiado, Baringo, Marsabit, Kilifi, Kisii, Tana River, Kisumu and Wajir counties.

Speaking during a panel discussion on policy implications and modalities for conducting the census under devolved system of government, the senator told IEBC to tell Kenyans the fate of 27 constituencies which despite failing the population quota were protected during the 2010 delimitation. 

They include Lamu East, Lamu West, Mvita, Mwatate, Wundanyi, Voi, Bura, Galole, Isiolo South, Kilome, Laisamis, North Horr, Saku, Siakago (now Mbeere North), Ndaragwa, Tetu, Murkurweini, Othaya and Kangema. 

Others are Mathioya, Samburu East, Marakwet East, Keiyo North, Mogotio, Vihiga and Budalangi

During the last review, the population threshold was set at 133,000 people, although the figure is likely to go up given the expected increase in population.

The quota is arrived at after dividing the total population with the 290 constituencies.

(Edited by R.Wamochie)