NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 25 – The government has assured that data collected under the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) is being managed internally, dismissing as ‘wild’ claims by a section of leaders that foreigners are engaged.
Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika sensationally claimed that a foreigner had been hired, and was already in the country to manipulate the data, as part of a wider plot to rig the 2022 General Elections.
But in a quick rejoinder, the Interior Ministry dismissed the claims and assured that the data is safe.
“No single component of the implementation process is handled by foreigners,” said Moffat Kangim a Principal Administrative Secretary in the ministry.
More than 37 million Kenyans were registered last year under the NIIMS project, and allocated unique registration number commonly referred to as Huduma Namba, ahead of issuance of a smart card that will replace all key identification cards.
“NIIMS, which will be the first of its kind in our history, will be the authentic single source of truth on a person’s identity and guide national planning processes, facilitate access to government services, and address such crimes as impersonation, identity theft, fraud, and duplication in registration,” he said.
But Kihika and other leaders, mainly allied to Deputy President William Ruto who has expressed interest to succeed president Uhuru Kenyatta whose second and final term ends in 2022, see the delay in rolling out the cards as a ploy to rig the polls.
The Interior Ministry denies the allegations, and has urged Kenyans to “to be wary of misinformation, disinformation, and conspiracy theories propagated about Huduma Namba.”
On Friday Kangi said over 90 percent of the data collected during the mass registration exercise have been cleaned up and matched, with mass production of Huduma Cards set to begin by the end of this year.
He said the process has taken long due to several petitions and a subsequent court order requiring government to develop a legal framework for the implementation of the process.