High Court lifts orders stopping registration, issuance of new digital IDs Maisha Namba

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 23 Feb, 2024 12:17 | 2 mins read
A sample ID. PHOTO/X (@MRSMuruguu)

It is a big win for President William Ruto's administration after the High Court lifted orders stopping its Ksh1 billion project on the registration and issuance of new digital IDs dubbed Maisha Namba.

Justice John Chigiti of the Milimani Judicial Review Division also ordered that the case filed by Katiba Institute challenging the roll-out of the new IDs be transferred to the Constitutional Division court for hearing and determination.

The judge gave the government the green to proceed with the plan to roll out new generation identification cards after the Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki and Attorney General Justin Muturi urged to set aside the orders stopping the registration and issuance of the new generation ID card.

Kindiki and Muturi argued that there was a risk of the two different court divisions making conflicting decisions since two matters had been filed touching on the same issues but in different courts

Katiba Institute challenged the roll-out of the new IDs on grounds that the government has failed to conduct a data protection impact assessment as per section 31 of the Data Protection Act, lack of proper public participation and failure to obey court orders issued in the case on the famous Huduma Number.

"They remain intent on building the Maisha Namba on the shaky foundation of data illegally collected and processed during the Huduma Namba exercise,” the petitioners told the court.

“They have used hastily developed regulations, adopted in violation of the Statutory Instruments Act, to contravene their Constitutional and statutory obligations.”

Maisha Namba has been described as a third-generation ID that includes a digital card, a unique personal identifier and a national master population register.

In its petition, the commission also argues that there has been no privacy impact assessment and that the rollout is taking place without meaningful public participation or publication of key information about the rollout.

The Maisha Namba is intended to replace the stalled attempt to introduce the Huduma Namba.
The suspension has been in place since last year, resulting in a backlog of ID applications by thousands of Kenyans across the country.

On December 5, the High Court suspended the rollout of the Digital Identifiers.

Related Topics