In this post, we are going to guide you through the Huduma Number application process as well as the controversies that surround this random number that the government is demanding everybody to have. The government of Kenya through the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) seeks to register all Kenyans under the newly rolled out Huduma number system.
Huduma number seeks to compile all personal identifiers to just one Huduma Namba that will be used to get government services.
However, the project has been met with great opposition by some Kenyans who are urging fellow Kenyans to resist the Huduma Number.
The government requires all Kenyans to apply for the Huduma number upon approval by the court.
The exercise of registration will only last for 30 days where all Kenyans are urged to come out in numbers and apply for the Huduma Number.
Huduma Number Application: How to Register
The registration process that was officially launched on 4/2/2019 will run for 30 days. The registration will be conducted manually where all people living in Kenya are expected to visit sub-county offices or Sub-chief offices to be registered.
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What is NIIMS?
The National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) is a government system that was established to collect and store the population register which will be used to identify each citizen.
While most government systems have been digitized, the Huduma number application process will be undertaken manually.
However, after registration, the data will be stored online and will be shared among the relevant government agencies.
According to the president, the Huduma number does not seek to invalidate other legal identifiers such as the birth certificate or national ID.
The Huduma number is supposed to enhance service delivery to the citizens with minimum modalities.
According to the government, the Huduma number will be enough to identify an individual across all government sectors.
The role of NIIMS Kenya
By now you understand what NIIMS is and why it was created. The next thing is to understand the mandates entrusted on NIIMS. Here are the roles that NIIMS will play in Kenya;
- NIIMS is expected to issue a Huduma Number to every registered Kenyan
- Determining the national population in Kenya
- Facilitate the issuance of identification documents such as foreigner certificates, driving licenses, identification cards, passports, student identification cards, death certificates, and birth certificates.
Huduma Number/ Huduma Namba WHAT IS IT?
Huduma Namba is a number that will be issued to all Kenyan citizens and non-citizens who reside in Kenya.
Unlike Birth certificates and ID cards that are issued to Kenyan citizens only, the Huduma Namba will be issued to all people living in Kenya including refugees and foreigners.
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It is a number that will be used to determine whether you are a Kenyan or not in a move to combat terrorism and enhance service delivery.
MUST I register for the Huduma Number?
The government is conducting this mandatory registration exercise for all citizens according to the Amendment of Registration of Persons Act Section 9A.
So, Yes you must register for the Huduma Namba in order to be able to access government services.
Huduma Namba Application details
Ones you collect the application form, you will be required to fill in or provide the following details/documents.
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- Nationality (Foreigner, Citizen, Dual Citizen)
- Biodata information
- Guardian details
- Marital status
- Place of birth
- Employment status
- Education details
- Agricultural Activities
- Your Photo
- Biometric data
How Information is Captured and Stored through NIIMS
This is a step by step illustration of how personal data is captured and stored through the NIIMS system.
- The first step entails filling a hard copy with bio-data, photos and biometric
- Recorded information is transferred to a registration kit
- The soft data is then uploaded to a server
- Information is obtained from the server and fed to the Huduma number server which then generates a UPI.
Where will I use the Huduma Number?
The following government departments will require you to provide your Huduma number before any service is offered.
- Refugees Affairs
Why Kenyans Are Against Huduma Namba Registration
If the uproar in social media is anything to go by, then Kenyans seem to be particularly bitter with the Huduma number application process.
The main cause of complaints from Kenyans is the push by the Jubilee government to issue unique identifier codes to Kenyans which is an exercise that will use a minimum of 6 billion shillings.
Kenyans believe that the government has its priorities misplaced as there are other urgent things that the 6 billion could be used to do.
What makes it even more peculiar is the fact that Kenyans are dying of hunger yet the government does not seem puzzled.
Some argue that there are already too many personal identifiers and adding another one does not make any sense.
We already have National ID cards, Birth Certificates, and driving licenses, what more does the government want?
The Huduma Number controversy
Experts say that the National ID is often enough to identify every Kenyan and offer specific services to each individual.
What is not clear with the whole Huduma Namba issue is the fact that some truth has been hidden from Kenyans.
For example, the government has been chanting the Huduma number song all along but they have not told Kenyans that there will be a Huduma card.
The Huduma card has not been mentioned anywhere all this time but a basic search reveals that the government struck a deal with Master Card to enhance the usage of the huduma Namba. Here is what Master Card had to say about the Huduma card deal.
Master Card’s Stand on Huduma Card
“The Huduma Card is a prepaid card with chip and PIN technology that will connect all Kenyans to the formal financial sector by providing a secure, reliable and flexible payment option. The Huduma Card, powered by Mastercard, is currently being issued by Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), Diamond Trust Bank (DTB), Equity Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), with no bank charges being allocated to citizens when registering for the smart card.
Kenyans will be able to pay for an array of Government services such as the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), National Social Security Fund (NSSF) amongst others. Citizens issued with the smart prepaid card will automatically be enrolled in vital government services such as the National Social Security Fund and the National Hospital Insurance Fund, ensuring all Kenyans benefit from these initiatives.
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Interesting that the only correction made is for me to note that Huduma card & Huduma Namba are two different projects from different ministries, for the cards we are giving our data to MasterCard & OT Morpho, while for Huduma Namba we are giving our Data to World Bank & OT Morpho”
The take away
Millions of Kenyans taking part in the online debate don’t feel comfortable to undertake another biometrics registration that has not been conclusively explained to them.
What’s more, it is not an urgent issue but it makes one wonder why the government is so dedicated to implementing the Huduma number while other urgent issues are yet to be solved.
According to them, the project will play a vital role in preventing fraud, impersonation and enhancing service delivery to the public.
The entirety of the Huduma fiasco seems to defend the 6 billion shillings project passionately so I guess we should just wait and see the countermeasures that Huduma Namba will bring.