Uhuru Kenyatta, First Lady receive first Huduma Namba cards

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President Uhuru Kenyatta has indicated that the long-awaited Huduma Namba identification cards are ready for rollout to Kenyans.

He was speaking at Mashujaa Day celebrations held at Gusii stadium in Kisii County on Tuesday.

“We are now ready to start issuing cards to Kenyans…so that they can start getting services online and stop the long queues in government offices,” the President said.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i then presented Mr Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta with the first samples of the Huduma Namba cards.

President Kenyatta rolled out Huduma Namba registration in April last year, saying that the new cards will be “the authentic single source of truth on personal identity in Kenya”.

Dr Matiang’i said the Niims (National Integrated Identity Management System) process is now complete and awaiting rollout after Parliament vets and approves the data commissioner.

The card rollout process will then take off soon after, he said, in accordance with court orders.

Data commissioner

The unveiling of the country’s first Huduma Namba cards comes just a week after Mr Kenyatta nominated IEBC Director of Voter Registration and Election Operations, Immaculate Kassait, to become the country’s first data commissioner.

Ms Kassait will be vetted by the National Assembly’s Committee on Communication, Information, and Innovation, which will then table its report to Parliament for approval.

The Data Protection Act 2019, requires the President to nominate, and with approval of the National Assembly, appoint the Data Commissioner.

The Data Protection Act 2019, gives the commissioner sweeping powers on the investigation of data breaches. These include powers of entry and search and issuing administrative fines.

Where personal data has been accessed or acquired by an unauthorised person, and there is a real risk of harm to the owner of this data, a data controller is required to notify the commissioner.