Deputy President William Samoei Ruto today registered for Huduma Namba in Lang’ata.
The DP who was accompanied by Lang’ata member of Parliament Nickson Korir, his son and daughter queued patiently as he waited for his turn to come.
Ruto had kept quiet on the exercise which was launched last week by President Uhuru Kenyatta in Masii, Machakos county.
His silence made Kenyans wonder why with some saying they will register once the deputy President gets registered.
While launching the exercise, President Kenyatta said the new Huduma Namba will not invalidate, instead it will harmonize other national registration processes like the sign up for Identity Cards, National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Birth and Death certificates or the Personal Identification Number (PIN) among others.
He added that National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) will assist in issuing persons resident in Kenya with a primary identifier that will consolidate the other registration numbers in one digital wallet. The other numbers will become secondary identifiers.
The new Huduma number is aimed at enhancing the speed and efficiency of service delivery to all residents of Kenya.
Calling on Kenyans to take advantage of the next 45 days to register, President Kenyatta said there are several reasons why the government is making the extraordinary effort to undertake the biometric registration for everybody living in Kenya.
“The need for accurate data as a key enabler for national planning, issuance of birth and death certificates and associated rights of nationality, schooling, passport and property ownership are all valid reasons for the registration,” said the President.
He said biometric identification and registration of farmers will facilitate fairer allocation of subsidized farm inputs including seeds and fertilizers.
“It will also improve accountability and transparency in the management of National Health Insurance Fund and inform planning, investment and allocation of affordable housing units,” the President said.
He said the NIIMS exercise will also facilitate and monitor capitation in schools adding that Kenyans will no longer be required to carry multiple IDs and, pensioners and widows will receive their dues with much ease.
Besides reducing transaction costs for Kenyans, said the Head of State, the new Namba will significantly reduce cases of identity theft and make financial and property transactions more secure.
President Kenyatta said a bill is currently being drafted to address concerns raised by Kenyans about security of the NIIMS data.
“Once passed by Parliament, the law will give you (the individual) a right to obtain a copy of the particulars of your personal data in the NIIMS database, restrict data sharing, and ensure security of the data against unauthorized access,” he said.
President Kenyatta criticized some church leaders for spreading lies and misleading Kenyans about the intentions of the biometric registration exercise.
Others who spoke at the launch ceremony included Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and the three governors from the lower Eastern counties including the host Dr Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Charity Ngilu (Kitui) and Prof. Kivutha Kibwana of Makueni.