1. What is Huduma Namba?
Huduma Namba is a free government service and is expected to cost between Sh5 Billion and Sh6 Billion. It is conducted by the National Integrated Identity Management system (NIIMS) and involves collecting biometric data after which the systems generates a unique number (Huduma Namba) which will enable one to access government services. Such services include applying for a driving license, ID, birth certificate among others.
Huduma Namba is a useful tool for the government to use in national planning, social services, project resource allocation, and even project infrastructure. No other document gives the government the ability to serve its people that way. Once done, the Huduma Namba will be the only identification document you will need. Without it, you will not access any government services that require documentation, just as you cannot do so without a national ID card.
Kenyans are required to carry several documents like the national identity card, KRA personal identification number, driving license, NHIF card, NSSF card, Birth certificate, and passport since the registration officer will need to take pictures of the documents as well as ask you your details as he/she enters the data into the tablet.
You can alternatively save the numbers from these documents, for example, your passport number on your phone in order to fill in the registration form. If you are not sure of the details of where you come from for example sub location, sub-county, do not worry the registration officer will help you out.
The registration officer will also need to take a photo of you, take fingerprints and ask you to sign or use your thumbprint in order to finish the registration process. The Huduma Namba does not require you to be at the same place with your family while you register. You do not need to go to your village or your county.
The registration is for Kenyans aged six and above, please note that younger children will be captured on the system under the parents or guardians ‘profile’. The countrywide mass registration on the 2nd of April 2019 and will run for 45 days with registration officers going around to key areas like schools to conduct the registrations. Once the 5 days elapse Kenyans can still register themselves at the nearest chief’s camp.
3.No new information is needed
All these documents are recorded in different databases so Huduma Namba consolidates the information to arrive at the ‘single source of truth’ regarding a Kenyan. There is no new data the government is looking for nor is DNA needed. The only difference is that it is digital and biometric. The Huduma Namba will make the lives of Kenyans easy. Once data is captured digitally, you will never again have to queue to submit new data unless you choose to. In the same way that your driver’s license or national ID have the original photo taken as a teenager, so too shall the Huduma Namba.
4. Do not lose your other identification cards
Do not throw away your identity cards or driving licenses. After the new registration, you are given something known as an acknowledgment slip which is like a waiting card for IDs. Then this data has to go for verification before you are issued with any sort of card or document. This is to make sure that the information submitted tallies with what is already recorded.
5. Updates will be available
After the registration, the gadgets will be left with the chiefs to continue registering births, deaths, marriages, and any other updates. There will be a process for the updates.
6. Non Citizens also get a Huduma Namba
Short term visitors or tourists are not expected to acquire a Huduma Namba. The only non-citizens required to register are those with the status of workers, students, and asylum seekers.
7. Huduma Namba is lawful
Laws have been put in place to ensure no litigation hinders the rollout of this programme. The Registration of Persons Act was amended in the National Assembly to include digital biometric and data capture. A standalone Huduma Namba Bill is in Parliament and it includes permission to capture data as well as makes provisions for the protection of that information.
Single identification numbers have been used in the West to help governments plan; disburse benefits such as welfare, healthcare, housing, and agriculture.
The government hopes Huduma Namba will play a similar role in channeling resources to the elderly, school children, the disabled, members of the proposed housing fund, small and medium enterprises and farmers. It also hopes the number would aid in combating fraud. It could also help check the unwanted entry into the country by foreigners in the wake of terrorist threats and attacks.