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Fear drives Kenyans, foreigners to register for Huduma Namba 24 hrs to deadline

Saturday will mark 45 days since the exercise started and though a continuous process, Kenyans and foreigners have been caught up in the last-minute rush/CFM NEWS

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 17- Fear of the unknown and dreading of Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi are some of the reasons people registering for National integrated Identity Management system, which is commonly known as Huduma Namba are giving.

Saturday will mark 45 days since the exercise started and though a continuous process, Kenyans and foreigners have been caught up in the last-minute rush.

But despite the ongoing awareness campaign about the process, many who spoke to Capital FM News cited fear as the only driving factor rather than the importance of the exercise, which is set to see Government develop a database- the central source of truth.

“What if I am denied some services like having a passport?” John Odongo posed.

He had joined hundreds of people in a lengthy queue at the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Westland, one of the registrations centre.

“I don’t want to be sorry for myself, so let me just get it. Though I sincerely don’t think I need it,” he added.

But for this American citizen who sought anonymity, he just loves doing things the last minute, and for him, he said there are some 24 hours remaining.

“I love procrastinating and I waited forever. But that I am not that bad because we still have tomorrow,” he said wearing a wide smile.

“I don’t know why they want me to get it but I have to. The Government would like me to have it, so I just do what they say.”

For Peter Wanjau, “it is all about being a true Kenyan. We do things at the last minute.”

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But there is a lot that got caught in a busy schedule and had only today to be registered.

General elections like queues have formed in the majority of registration centres across the country, a situation that is even dire in urban setups like Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

Since the exercise started more than a month ago, the Government has registered 31 million people, while some 9 million others have 48 hours to be registered before the set time is over.

While it is widely believed that Kenyans loves the last-minute adrenaline rush, it might be a global trend as established by Capital News.

-About the Huduma Namba-

For one to be registered, the government will require at least an identification document; this can either be a birth certificate, ID card, driving licence or the Kenya Revenue Authority PIN.

A person registering will be required to provide a digital picture, give his name, gender, date of birth, age, citizenship, information about parents or guardians, place of birth, phone number, email address, physical and permanent residence and marital status.

The government is also capturing fingerprints and demographic data.

Among the benefits of having a Huduma Namba are easy access to government services, coordinated registration of people, it will address duplication in registration and reduce operational costs, detect and prevent fraud, impersonation or any other crime.

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A High Court ruling on April 1 had rendered Huduma Namba registration non-mandatory with Justices Weldon Korir, Pauline Nyamweya and Mumbi Ngugi ruling the government should not withhold services from persons who may not be registered on NIIMS.

The exercise will continue at Sub-County officers even after 45 days mass registration period is over.


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