NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 4 – The Interior Ministry says the mass distribution of Huduma Namba cards has kicked off in Nairobi before it can be extended to the rest of the country.
The ministry in a statement issued on Thursday said the first batch of the cards had been dispatched to all the city’s 17 Sub-County offices.
Those who registered in on the national biomentric civil database will receive an SMS notification prompting them on where and when to collect the cards.
“The first batch has been dispatched to Huduma Kenya Centres across the Nairobi Metropolitan Area and its 17 sub-county offices, and you can conveniently collect yours if you receive an SMS notification on the same,” the ministry said in a tweet.
Huduma Namba, also referred to as the National Integrated Identity Management System was introduced in 2019 and was billed as the single source of personal identification for Kenyans and persons resident in Kenya.
The government said 38 million people had registered for the card by the time the Sh9.6 billion exercise closed in May 2020.
Immaculate Kassait was sworn-in as Data Commissioner, to oversee the implementation of the exercise.
Kassait became the country’s first holder of the position is responsible for the enforcement of the Data Protection Act with duties such as exercising oversight on data processing operations, promoting self-regulation among data controllers, promoting international cooperation in data protection related issues, and conducting research on data processing development.
Kassait’s assumption of office in November 2020 paved way for the roll out of Huduma Namba cards.
A panel of three judges had ruled that the roll out of Huduma Namba was unconstitutional considering at the time there were no explicit data protection laws and a substantive Data Commissioner.
The case had been filed by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the Kenya Human Rights Commission and the Nubian Rights Forum.