In 2019, the Huduma Bill was proposed.
The law has been thoroughly examined, but it primarily proposes that all Kenyans receive the Huduma Namba. Huduma Namba, which is based on the NIIMS national database, will also be linked to all government services, meaning that without the Huduma Card, a person will be unable to get such services from the government.
“Every resident individual shall have a mandatory obligation to present Huduma Namba in order to be issued with a passport, apply for a driving license, register a mobile phone number, register as a voter, pay taxes, transact in the financial market, open a bank account, register a company or public benefit organization, transfer or make any dealings in land, register for power connection, access universal healthcare services, register a marriage…” reads part of the bill.
The Huduma Bill also aims to bring other Acts into line with it.
Existing databases that serve both functional and basic purposes, such as voter registers, taxes, and social services and products, will continue to exist but will be updated on a regular basis using NIIMS.
However, several Acts of Parliament govern social services and other types of data, such as the Citizen and Immigration Act 2011, the Tax Procedures Act 2015, the National Hospital Insurance Act 1998, and the Elections Act 2011, to name a few. The Huduma Bill 2019 proposes that these Acts be amended to allow for the efficiencies that will be gained by relying on Huduma Namba for identification and registration.
A law modification proposed for 2021 would also give Huduma Namba to babies for tax purposes. Huduma Namba will be assigned at birth or upon enrollment, according to the modification. Parents should be aware that this registration process must be completed within 90 days after the birth of their child. Payment of a late registration penalty will be required for late registrations.
As can be seen, the bill has a number of concerns, some of which have been raised by stakeholders and other interested parties.
ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa, in collaboration with Civil Society Organizations, has filed a joint memorandum to Parliament to guarantee that the Huduma Bill promotes the full fulfilment of legal identity, privacy, and data protection.
Furthermore, ARTICLE 19 has generated some intriguing suggestions. It states that the government should be tasked with investing in increasing user trust and confidence in digital ID. This should be accomplished by involving the general population. Before shifting to the Huduma Namba system, the government should create a completely inclusive identity system, which implies that locals can access documents such as birth certificates and ordinary IDs.
Public hearing of the bill.
On Wednesday, February 23, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., a public hearing on the Huduma Bill will be held in the mini-chamber 1st Floor, County Hall, Parliament Buildings.
A public hearing invitation states, “Members of the public wishing to participate in the public hearing are required to prepare detailed written submissions, which they will hand over to the Committee in addition to the oral submission made.”