Leaders laud registration exercise, urge citizens to embrace project

Opposition leader Raila Odinga (centre), ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru (right) and Mombasa Deputy Governor William Kingi display their registration slips during the Huduma Namba launch in Mombasa. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Opposition leader Raila Odinga accused politicians of sabotaging the fight against corruption by attempting to weaken investigative agencies.

Raila, who was in Likoni, Mombasa, to launch the National Integrated Identification Management System (NIIMS), accused leaders of inciting their supporters to believe that they were being unfairly targeted in the war against graft.

The ODM leader described a Bill by Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro — seeking to clip the powers of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) — as a “misguided plot to wage a proxy war against the State”.

“How can an MP go to Parliament and come up with a bill to trim the powers of the DCI and DPP who are diligently fighting corruption?” Raila posed.

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He lauded the Government’s efforts to combat graft, saying it would redeem the country’s credentials. “We want to remove Kenya from that league (of corrupt states) but some people want to derail us.”

Raila also assured residents that there was nothing wrong with Huduma Namba, adding that the Government could not come up with harmful projects.

“We must be proud of this project because Kenyans will be ahead of many people in the world,” he said, adding that the country would be the sixth in the world to adopt digital registration.

Raila, who was accompanied by Cabinet secretaries Joe Mucheru and Simon Chelugui asked Kenyans to embrace technology and discard “old ways of doing things”.

In Murang’a, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang'ula called on the Government to introduce a law to protect data that will be collected through NIIMS.

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The leaders said there was a gap in the data protection laws that needed to be plugged to grow Kenyans’ confidence and protect the data from being used by criminals.

Speaking at General Ihura Stadium where Kalonzo launched the registration process, they said the data would be used for planning purposes.

“Data collected from Kenyans must be kept in safe custody thus the need for an elaborate law to ensure its security,” said Kalonzo.

Wetang'ula said the country lacked proper data protection thus the need for a law to ensure its security.

DNA collection

“The courts have already expressed their disapproval of collection of DNA because it is not clear what it will be used for. The Government should table a data protection motion in Parliament as soon as possible so that when residents give their private information they are sure that it will be kept safe.”

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On the war against graft, Kalonzo said lack of inclusion in the Government was hampering the fight against corruption by turning it into a two-community affair.

“The Government is only made up of two communities so you would assume that one is being targeted by the corruption fight but that is not the case. If there were more communities then the war would look national. The truth is it is actually not looking national.”

On corruption, Wetang'ula called for the arrest of those who had looted the country.

“If we agree to support President Kenyatta, the DCI and DPP should stop media briefing and Twitter announcements and take the culprits to court,” he said.

Speaking separately in Kajiado, Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi said the opposition would support the Government on matters of national interest.

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Mudavadi, who was launching the Huduma Namba registration exercise, said the era of opposing the Government for its own sake was coming to an end.

He hailed the new number as a novel project that would ease service delivery in Government, adding that it would help reduce corruption and bribery in public offices.

“This country has been taken hostage by fraudsters and con men whose authentic details cannot be verified. Our recruitment processes in the police force and other institutions are riddled with imposters. Their days will be numbered with the new system in place. We ask Kenyans to embrace it because it is a good thing,” said Mudavadi.

Elsewhere in Kakamega, Cabinet secretaries Eugene Wamalwa, Mwangi Kiunjuri and Amina Mohamed urged the public to register in large numbers.

“Kenyans should stop listening to propaganda. The Huduma Namba exercise is not related to the census slated for August,” said Kiunjuri.

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Opposition leader Raila OdingaHuduma NambaJoe MucheruDirectorate of Criminal Investigations