Huduma Namba no longer optional, new policy directs

Friday, October 16th, 2020 00:00 |
Huduma Namba to become compulsory for all government services. Photo/PD/FILE

It will now be mandatory for every Kenyan to register for the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS), known as Huduma Namba after the government published the regulations.

The new rules, which were tabled before Parliament yesterday, state that upon registration one will be issued with a  “Huduma card,” a digital multi-purpose identity card issued to a resident individual.

This then means the card will make all other identification documents obsolete as the unique personalised number will be permanent to the person and serve as proof of identification.

One will be asked to produce the card when seeking particular service or transaction with the government.

According to the new guidelines, the card will be issued to a Kenyan citizen, a foreign national who has been granted lawful residency in Kenya; or a refugee registered in accordance with the Refugees Act, 2006.

Sufficient proof

The object of the rules is to provide mechanisms for operation of the NIIMS; and facilitate the assigning of Huduma Namba and issuance of  Huduma card to a resident individual.

A Huduma card will be issued to a child who has attained the age of six  and adults aged 18 and above and for foreign nationals.

For the purpose of establishing proof of identity, the presentation of the Huduma card or the Namba authenticated by biometrics constitutes sufficient proof and will be compulsory.

Rules further states that any government agency requiring personal particulars of an individual shall, at the first instance, rely on the NIIMS database to authenticate the foundational data of an enrolled resident individual.

For the newborns, registration should be done within 90 days of birth and it will be compulsory; failure to which one will be penalised.

The penalty will be determined by the delay period after the 90-day window period. A parent or a guardian while appearing before a designated registration officer will accompany children.

“A child shall be enrolled into the NIIMS immediately after  the registration of a birth,” states the regulations.

Huduma Namba will be issued to the applicant within 30 days of application, and the individual will be notified of the successful enrolment.

“Where an application for enrolment is declined, the Principal Secretary in-charge shall within seven days of that decision being made,  communicate in writing to the applicant,” the regulations state. 

The initial issue of the Huduma card will be free of charge, but in situations where the card is lost, worn out, or tampered with one will be charged for a replacement.

Specified services

 The fee to be charged will be determined by the Cabinet Secretary in a Gazette Notice. 

Government’s move to publish the regulations comes barely two months after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i announced the second round of registration will be done in December.

The number will be a must-show for Kenyans seeking services from government agencies, for instance, in acquisition of passports, driving licenses, registration of mobile phone numbers and in registration as a voter. 

Huduma Namba will also be mandatory in payment of taxes at the Kenya Revenue Authority, opening of bank accounts and undertaking land transfers.

It will also be required in seeking power connectivity from Kenya Power and Lighting Company, access to universal healthcare and before one gets married.

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