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#IamNotBoarding: Kenyans Resist ‘Huduma Namba’ Registration Exercise

Yesterday, the government of Kenya launched the first phase of The National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) dubbed ‘Huduma Namba’.

The exercise which will officially start next month and expected to cost Kes. 6 billion, aims to register Kenyans and foreigners from the age of 6 years and above.

Immediately after the launch, Kenyans on social media questioned the legality, viability and security of their data on the system.

Today, more resistance to the registration exercise is being shared under #ResistHudumaNamba and #IamNotBoarding hashtags.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) led by Lawyer George Kegoro have also moved to court to block the implementation of the NIIMS.

“KHRC brings this case to defend, uphold and promote good governance, human dignity, transparency and accountability”, Mr. Kegoro said.

Scores of Kenyans have noted that there are many other identification documents that they are supposed to have and that ‘Huduma Namba’ through NIIMS is a waste of time and resources.

CNYAKUNDI.COM notes that the custody of citizens registration is governed by the Kenya Citizens and Foreign National Management Act, 2011, and that there exists a parallel mechanism known as the Integrated Population Registration System. Therefore, the changes that were done to thea above mentioned law are malicious and geared towards lining pockets of a few tenderpreneurs.

In court, KHRC observed that NIIMS would ‘breach the law, as information relating to family or private affairs may unnecessarily be revealed’. They went on to argue that there was no public participation when the changes to the law to create NIIMS were made.

The government, according to the Deputy Head of the Public Service Wanyama Musiambo insists that NIIMs will help it in ‘planning besides fighting corruption and fraudulent dealings particularly land grabbing’.

The registration is also mandatory and anyone that doesn’t register will not be able to access government services; legal action will also be taken against them, Mr. Musiambo said.

It remains to be seen how this case will turn out, but as things stand out Kenyans are headed for a major loss of privacy or money.

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