Questions for CS Matiang'i over Huduma Namba

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i

Senators have questioned delays in payment of officials who carried out National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS/Huduma Namba) exercise more than six months ago.

In a statement sought by nominated Senator Victor Prengei (Jubilee), the lawmaker wants Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to explain how the exercise gobbled up Sh6 billion and why the issuance and use of the said Huduma Namba cards has not been effected to date.

“Why has there been delayed payment to officers who carried out the Huduma Namba registration exercise? The Defence and National Security Committee should explain, by way of tabling a report before the Senate, to justify spending Sh8 billion on NIIMS/Huduma Namba,” said Prengei.

Senators Mutula Kilonzo Jnr (Makueni), Ali Ibrahim (Wajir), Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), Enock Wambua (Kitui), Ochillo Ayacko (Migori), Samson Cherargei (Nandi) and Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi) questioned why the data captured has not been released and when will it be made public.

In a heated debate last week at the Senate, Kilonzo Jnr questioned why the Government had whipped up Kenyans on Huduma Namba registration as an emergency yet six months down the line no report has been made public.

“Where exactly is the position of the numbers we were supposed to be given and why have the numbers not been given? Why was it so urgent? The more important question is, where is the Huduma Namba?,” asked Kilonzo Jnr.

Senator Ali reminded the House how people were running up and down and even pleaded with the Government to give Kenyans extra time yet to date, no results have been released.

“We were told that this one will be the most important number in this country and it will solve all our problems. About Sh8 billion was used and still, those young men and women who toiled going to people’s houses and sitting in the cold have not been paid. This is shameful,” said Mr Ali.

Mr Cheruiyot, while contributing to the debate, said: “Almost four to five months down the line, there is absolutely no communication on how many people were captured in the data, when they intend to release it, and what will be the way forward after this, especially in light of the money that was spent.”

According to Mr Wambua, there was a push to get everybody in the country to register for Huduma Namba.

“Six months down the line, nobody in this country has been issued with the card. To make matters worse, the young people that were recruited to undertake this exercise have not been paid to date," said Wambua.

“Is it possible that this was a scheme just to spend public money and the results had already been pre-determined? Every person that registered wants their card delivered and all the persons that were recruited to carry out this exercise paid without further delay," he added.

Mr Cherargei questioned why every time when any Kenyan works for the Government, they are not paid, adding that most of the workers are youth who do not have any other source of income.

Ayacko caused laughter in the House saying that there was a rumour that the Huduma number had some devils in it and that there were people who were intending to bewitch Kenyans.

Mr Sakaja said national exercises have budgets and questioned why those who helped register Kenyans have not been settled.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka directed the National Security and Defence Committee to summon Dr Matiang’i to appear before the whole House and shed more light on the matter.