PS Kibicho says Huduma Namba data idle

Kibicho says data collected during NIIMS registration has not been touched due to court order

In Summary
  • Says government put everything in place but court stopped data processing
  • Kibicho defends exercise, saying it is for the benefit of all Kenyans
Interiori PS Karanja Kibicho
DEFENCE: Interiori PS Karanja Kibicho
Image: FILE

The state says Kenyans have not received their Huduma Namba card because the data collected has not been processed following court orders.

Testifying in court on Wednesday, Interior PS Karanja Kibicho said the biometric data captured by the state during Huduma Number registration is sitting idle awaiting the court's decision.

He says the government put everything in place but the court stopped processing of the collected data.


Kibicho was testifying in a case where three lobby groups including Nubian Rights Forum and the Kenya Human Rights Commission have challenged implementation of the NIIMS.

Justices Pauline Nyamweya, Mumbi Ngugi and Weldon Korir are expected to determine validity of the exercise.

Kibicho told the three-judge bench that 38 million Kenyans registered for Huduma Namba and the exercise is still ongoing at the chiefs' offices.

The PS said the registration was fully funded by taxpayers’ money and so far close to Sh7 billion has been spent. By the end of the processing the state would have used Sh9.6 billion.

Kibicho defended the exercise, saying it is for the benefit of all Kenyans.

“We want to digitalize the population register to get benefits that are immense in terms of service provision,” he said.

Kibicho dismissed claims by the petitioners' lawyer Martha Karua that the exercise was mandatory, saying even Karua had not registered and nothing had happened to her.

He also denied allegations that the state threatened Kenyans with mandatory registration and dared the petitioners to provide evidence.

The PS urged the court to allow the NIIMS process to go forward. He said the digital ID card has an encrypted chip and depending whom you appear before, they will have a reader that gives them all the relevant information needed.

“If someone doesn't want convenience, no one will ever force someone to register. But in the end after we have collected all this, what do you give Kenyans? Huduma Card with a digital chip, a third generation ID that's digital,” he said.

Kibicho said that in future every Kenyan will have a unique identifier. Once the NIIMS is fully implemented, there will be no need for a census.

He said the data collected from Kenyans is secure and the administrator with the key to that information is the director for the National Registration Bureau.

Karua argued that the state needs to appoint a data protection commissioner and a data controller where Kenyans can go and report their complaints.

Hearing continues today when ICT PS Jerome Ochieng will testify.

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