Huduma card won’t be needed in August 9 election, PS Kibicho says

Interior Principal Secretary Dr Karanja Kibicho. [File, Standard]

You won’t be required to produce a Huduma Card to vote in the August 9 General Election.

This has been established after a meeting between Interior PS Karanja Kibicho and the National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security, regarding Huduma Number Bill 2021.

In the meeting, Kibicho said Huduma card will not be compulsory in the August election.

“There’s no intention to insist on use of Huduma Card to vote in the general election. The Bill does not intend to abolish Immigration, Civil and National Registration bureaus as claimed,” he said.

“Rather, the Bill intends to harmonise the activities of these departments that essentially rely on the same information.”

This, therefore, means that the standard procedure of producing a national identity card during the election applies.

The Huduma Bill 2021 was introduced to Parliament on December 15, 2021 and seeks to provide law on civil registration and legal identification management, and establish the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS), also known as Kenya’s digital identity system.

According to Kibicho, staff in the said-departments will continue to discharge the essential and distinct activities of each of the departments under the new law.

“Huduma Bill is not proposing to collect any new data but rather consolidating information that is already gathered by various government departments and agencies. This will also negate the need for expensive biometric registration by various state depts as is currently the case: NRB, IEBC, NHIF, NTSA, Immigration.”

Kibicho says the collection of new Huduma data is integral to cleaning up existing government database on registration that has been infiltrated by unscrupulous individuals and criminals to, for instance, obtain Kenyan IDs and passports by unqualified individuals. This, he says, will be achieved by matching digital prints to image.

“What the Bill proposes is in line with global trends, and has successfully been achieved by Ghana and Estonia, among other countries.” Said Kibicho.