The highly anticipated launch of Maisha Namba and the Digital ID originally scheduled to be unveiled by President William Ruto on October 2, 2023, has been postponed due to what the government termed as 'unavoidable circumstances'.
In a statement on Friday, September 29, Julius Bitok, the Immigration and Citizen Services Permanent Secretary, assured the public that a new date for the launch would be communicated in due course.
“We wish to inform the public and all the stakeholders that, due to unavoidable circumstances, the official launch of the Maisha Namba and the digital ID ecosystem that was to be presided over by His Excellency, the President William Auto, CGH, on October 2, 2023, at the Athletics Club, Nakuru County has been postponed. A new date for the launch will be communicated in due course," the statement read in part.
The government has assured the public that the ongoing public participation and stakeholder engagement forums on Maisha Namba and the digital ID ecosystem will continue as planned.
"Meanwhile, public participation and stakeholders' engagement forums on Maisha Namba and the digital ID ecosystem that are ongoing across the country will continue," the statement read.
All about Maisha Namba
One of the key features of the Maisha Namba is its integration into the very beginning of a citizen's life. When a baby is born in a Kenyan hospital, they will now receive their Maisha Namba alongside their birth certificate, marking the beginning of their official identification journey.
As children grow and enter school, the Maisha Namba will become integral to their educational records. This shift is part of a broader effort to digitize and modernize government services, making them more accessible and efficient for the Kenyan population.
In terms of taxation, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will adopt the Maisha Namba as the official identifier for tax purposes. When individuals file their taxes, they will be required to provide their Maisha Namba, ensuring more accurate tax assessment and collection.
The Maisha Namba is designed to be easily accessible through digital means. Citizens will have the option to store a digital copy of their Maisha Namba on their mobile phones, reducing reliance on physical documents and enhancing both convenience and security.
Upon reaching the age of 18, Kenyan citizens will be issued a Maisha Card, which is expected to integrate the Maisha Namba and serve as a more comprehensive form of identification. This card will have multifaceted uses, including voting, accessing financial services, and more, making it a crucial piece of identification for adult Kenyans.