NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 14 – The government has announced plans to register all Kenyans afresh in a new national digital database.
Deputy President William Ruto says the new measures are aimed at enhancing security and for purposes of planning.
“In order to address the prevailing security challenges, we intend to consolidate all current registers of persons into a single national register with accurate and relevant information,” said Ruto.
The database will contain biometric details of all persons, land, establishments and assets.
Ministries of Information, Communication and Technology and Interior and Coordination of National Government will spearhead the exercise.
“The registration will assist the government identify persons holding forged or fake identification documents,” the Deputy President explained.
He gave the example of the missing links in birth registration, Personal Identification Number, Public Service Commission, National Social Security Fund and National Hospital Insurance Fund registers and voter registration among others.
Ruto spoke when he met commissioners of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to seek their input on how best the government can register all Kenyans.
He said the government would like to benefit from IEBC’s technical expertise on registration matters since it used biometric voter listing in the run-up to the 2013 General Election.
The commission led by Chairman Issack Hassan said the proposed registration is an important undertaking that will make the work of IEBC easier and also cut costs.
“With an accurate and credible database an electoral commission will not need to conduct a parallel voter registration as it can draw information from the national database,” Hassan said.
The IEBC chairman said digital registration was the practice in developed democracies.
ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the new register will guide the government in planning as well as help IEBC in planning future elections since they will have readily available information.
“This is your know-your-citizen-campaign that will help us develop a reliable master database that will help us in national planning and security,” Matiang’i said.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku said registration of persons was an important component in tackling security challenges.
“We must know who is a Kenyan and who is not. We can only do this from a credible digital database,” the Interior CS said.
A technical team from the two ministries is working out on modalities of rolling out the registration programme.
It is anticipated the registration will take a period of up to six months once the Government has the required infrastructure in place.