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Ruto quashes Uhuru’s Huduma Namba, Kenyans to be identified digitally

Huduma Namba, which was meant to be a unique identification number of Kenyans introduced by the last regime of President Uhuru Kenyatta, is now facing the shadow under his successor.

In 2019, Mr Kenyatta launched Huduma Namba, which claimed approximately Sh10.6 billion of taxpayers’ money.

In one of the events, the former ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru had said that Huduma Namba was to replace identity cards, and no Kenyan could access government services without it.

Also read: Huduma Namba illegal, High Court declares

But with the new administration, about 38 million Kenyans who had been captured through National Integrated Identification System (NIIMS) and are ready to be issued with the cards have nothing to worry about.

This is after President Ruto said his administration would devise another mechanism for identifying Kenyans.

In his speech on Friday during the Data Privacy Conference at KICC, Nairobi, the President directed ICT CS Eliud Owalo to identify Kenyans digitally quickly.

The President said that in the next six months, his administration will ensure that 5,000 government services are available in the digital space.

Also read: Sakaja protests threats to people who miss out on Huduma Namba – VIDEO

“I have also asked the Ministry of ICT to work on a digital identity, so that the big Huduma thing that never was, we can finally have as Kenya a digital identity. I have told my friend Eliud that by the end of this year, Kenyans must be able to identify themselves digitally.”

He further criticized the move by the last regime to issue Huduma cards to Kenyans, saying that the work of the government is to identify Kenyans.

Huduma cards were among the priorities of Mr Kenyatta in his Big Four Agenda. Still, they faced legal challenges from a section of lobby groups who protested that the privacy of Kenyans was at risk.

Until his last day in office, Mr Kenyatta’s agenda failed since the issue of the cards was at a slow pace and the majority are yet to get the cards even after being captured.

Towards the August 2022 election, Dr Ruto and his allies cast doubts on Huduma Namba, claiming that it was one of the plans to rig his election.

Also read: How smart Nairobians are cashing in on scarcity of Huduma Namba forms