NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 16 – The government says it will soon de-gazette the use of National Identity cards so as to pave way for the full rollout of Huduma Namba cards.
Huduma Namba, also referred to as the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) was introduced in 2019 and was billed as the single source of personal identification for Kenyans and persons resident in Kenya.
Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna said the process of phasing out the old Identity Cards is well on course even as he projected that the government aims to issue close to 37 million cards by the end of either 2021 or mid-2022.
“The de-gazettement of the cards will be done at an appropriate time,” he said as he disclosed that so far the government has dispatched 4.5 million messages notifying Kenyans to collect their cards in their respective designated stations.
Whereas the response by Kenyans has been sluggish, Oguna asked Kenyans to collect their cards to avoid a last-minute rush.
“Only half of the 4.5 have been responded to our call. If you do not respond to that message within three days it will be invalid in which case therefore, the card will be sent to the nearest station from where one registered,” he said.
While stressing that the issuance of the cards which happens during all the days of the week is free of charge, Oguna asked Kenyans to be wary of conmen who are out to defraud them.
“I am aware of some people who are asking Kenyans to part with Sh100 so that they can be issued with the cards. Do not allow yourself to be swindled,” he said.
The government has since set up plans to conduct phase two of the registration exercise which is due to take place next month.
“The exercise will be conducted at the Assistant Chiefs’ offices and we plead with Kenyans who have not registered to take advantage of this,” he said.
The government said 38 million people had registered for the card by the time the exercise that cost Sh9.6 billion closed in May 2020.
The government commenced the distribution of the cards on February 4 with the first batch dispatched to Huduma Centre branches across Nairobi County and its 17 sub-county offices.