By Mercy Mwai.
It will now be mandatory for Kenyans to own a Huduma Namba to get key services from the government if a proposed law is enacted by Parliament.
All couples will be required to register their marriages and to register as a voter, one will also require to get Huduma Namba, if Huduma Bill 2019 is passed.
The Huduma card, according to the bill, will serve as the official government issued document for identification and conduct of transactions. Anyone who transacts business without Huduma Namba, says the bill will be liable to one year imprisonment or pay a fine not exceeding Shi million.
The bill, sponsored by Interior Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i (pictured), provides for the establishment of the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS), which will be the primary database from which every other bank with personal information residents in the country, such as that of voters, taxes, and social services, will be built.
The move, argues Matiang’i, will go a long way in creating an efficient identity system that will present opportunities for fiscal savings, development of the digital economy and enhanced public and private sector service delivery.
The types of Huduma Namba to be issued include minors Huduma card, for children who have attained the age of six years, adults Huduma card, for citizens aged 18 years and foreign nationals Huduma card for resident adult noncitizens.
“The Huduma Namba is a unique and permanent personal identification number assigned to every resident individual to ensure such individual is distinctly identifiable,” reads the bill.
In the bill, Matiang’i explained that the national identity card that Kenyans have been using, despite it having all the personal data details, including biometrics, has little utility in functional areas.
He regretted that the failure to have linkage between foundational and functional systems has led to duplication in registration of persons, wastage of resources and diminution of trust in the identity ecosystem.
Should the bill be passed, every Kenyan will be required to produce the Namba whenever they are applying for a passport, driving licence as well as seeking to register or transfer a motor vehicle.
In addition, those who seek to register a mobile phone number, register as a voter, register a company or a public benefit organisation as well as register for electricity connection, will also be required to produce a Huduma Namba.
Further, one will be required to provide the number in case they want to transfer, or make any dealings inland, paying taxes, transact in the financial markets, open a bank account, access universal health care services, benefit from the government housing scheme, enroll into a public educational facility as well as access social protection services.
On the other hand, the bill also cites as offences failure by a parent to notify the occurrence of a birth or cause a newborn to be enrolled into NIIMS as well as failure to register death adding that anyone who buries, cremates or supervises any disposal of the body of a deceased person, whose death has not been notified and registered also commits an offence.
The bill, sponsored by Interior Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i provides for the establishment of NIIMS, which will be the primary database from which every other database with personal data of residents in the country, such as databases of voters, taxes, and social services, will be built.
Also, couples will be required to register their marriages and to register as a voter, one will also require to get Huduma Namba, if Huduma Bill 2019 is passed.