Kisumu residents left stranded and confused after Huduma Namba registration fails to kick off

– Centres designated for the Huduma Namba registration exercise in Kismu county remained shut

– The Huduma Namba registration officials also failed to show up despite the residents turning up for the exercise

– The voluntary biometric registration was launched by the president and Opposition leaders on Tuesday The ongoing biometric registration of Kenyans on the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) was suspended in Kisumu county even as the exercise kicked off across the country.

The programme which was officially launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM party leader Raila Odinga and other senior Opposition leaders on Tuesday, April 2, in different parts of the country, could not take off in the lakeside county despite the residents turning up for it.

Huduma Namba registration exercise delayed in Kisumu county

President Uhuru Kenyatta being registered for Huduma Namba on Tuesday, April 2, shortly after he launched the exercise in Machakos county. Photo: CitizenTV. Source: UGC

on Thursday We learnt the much publicised exercise was delayed in Kisumu because registration officials did not show up at the designated centres as was widely expected. Kisumu county commissioner, Pauline Dola, who spoke to Citizen TV on Wednesday evening confirmed the delay but explained it was as a result of late arrival of documents needed to facilitate the biometric registration process.

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Many of the residents who showed up to have their data captured in the NIIMS were left stranded and disappointed as the major registration centres in the county, including Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground Centre, were still shut.

Dola, however, indicated the crucial documents they were waiting for finally arrived and the Huduma Namba registration was slated to kick off on Thursday.

President Uhuru and Opposition leader, Raila, had called on Kenyans to turn up for the biometric registration as the two led the way in Machakos and Mombasa respectively. Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka was on a related assignment in Murang’a as Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi also launched the Huduma registration in Kajiado county. Deputy President William Ruto was expected to undertake a similar assignment in Kakamega county but he did not show up.

The Huduma Namba registration is meant to capture biometric data of all Kenyans and foreigners living in the country on the NIIMS, a system that was developed by the national government to store and manage population data.

The biometric data being referred to in this case include fingerprints, retina and iris patterns, earlobe geometry, voice waves and hand geometry. Kenyans aged six years and above will be eligible to register for the Huduma Namba, a unique identification number that will be assigned to every Kenyan or foreigner living in Kenya once their biometric data is captured on the NIIMS. The Huduma Namba will help in facilitating delivery of government services to the people.

“The Huduma Namba programme will also help the government in curbing attempts by foreigners and persons from illegally obtaining Kenya civil status,” said Immigration boss, Gordon Kihalangwa.

At the registration centres, Kenyans are expected to present themselves in person and their identification documents such as birth certificate, ID card, driving licence and KRA pin. Foreigners, on the other hand, are expected to carry their passport, alien card or special pass.

The government had indicated the biometric registration would officially commence on April 2 across the country and end on May 16, 2019.

“From April 2,2019, the government will be registering all Kenyan citizens, foreigners, aliens and refugees under the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS). Non-citizens need a passport, alien card or special pass. Those without identifying documents will not be left out,” the Interior Ministry tweeted.

However, the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), Nubian Rights Forum and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNHCR) filed a case seeking to stop the process on grounds that it lacked proper legislation on data protection.

The High Court on April 1, 2019, ruled the exercise should not be made mandatory to all citizens neither should the government issue a registration deadline or collect DNA samples.

A three-judge bench nevertheless said the process would proceed as planned pending a final decision that would be issued on Friday, April 5.

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