The government of Kenya is in the process of introducing a new bill that will require all persons living in Kenya to register for the controversial Huduma Number.

The bill, called Huduma Bill 2019, will lead to Kenyans getting a unique personal identification number, that will serve as proof for identification for residents in the country.

The new bill creates NIIMS (National Integrated Identity Management System) database which will contain all the data collected for residents in Kenya. It will also come with a unique personal number i.e. Huduma Namba and a Huduma Card.

Kenyan residents will need the Huduma Namba to access public services that include:

  • Be issued with a passport
  • Apply for a driving license
  • Register for a mobile number
  • Register as a voter
  • Pay taxes
  • Transact in the financial markets
  • Open a bank account
  • Register a company or NGO
  • Transfer or make land dealings
  • Register for an electricity connection
  • Access health care services
  • Register a marriage
  • Enrol in a public school
  • Car registration
  • Benefit from the government housing scheme
  • Access social protection services;

The registration of the Huduma Namba will be mandatory for all Kenyans aged 6 and above and foreign nationals living in Kenya. It will see Kenyans submitting their fingerprints and other biometric data to be registered. Minors will need to apply for an adult Huduma Namba once they turn 18.

The Huduma Namba will come with a Huduma Card which will have the holder’s details that include;

  • full name
  • sex
  • date of birth
  • Huduma Namba
  • nationality
  • place of birth
  • front-facing photograph
  • date of issue

The bill also has a birth registration and death registration element.  All Kenyans will need to register their newborn children on the service regardless of where they are born, after which birth certificates will be issued. Deaths will also be registered and death certificates issued on the service. on the service as well after which a death certificate will be issued. Passport application will also be done through NIIMS.

According to the bill, the NIIMS database will be stored in Kenya and the data will be protected by a data protection officer appointed by the principal secretary in charge.

The Kenyan Government had from March 2019, been registering Kenyans for the Huduma Namba after an amendment was made to the Registration of Persons Act Sec. 9A. It made Huduma Namba mandatory for all Kenyan citizens and foreigners resident in Kenya. The new law, however, ran into a roadblock after a case was filed opposing it. The Nubian Rights Forum, Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) filed a case over the Huduma Namba. They got an injunction that declared registration of the Huduma Namba was not mandatory until the case was heard.

The proposed Huduma law will be under the Ministry for Interior and Coordination of National Government and the ministry has called for views and proposals on the draft bill. The Ministry has organized an open forum and called for public participation on Thursday, 25th July 2019 at the Kenya School of Government, Lower Kabete Campus.

Additional public participation is available through written submissions that should be made by August 2nd 2019. They can be delivered to the following offices:

  1. Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government Offices at Harambee House 4th Floor
  2. Any Deputy County Commissioner’s Offices in the 47 counties
  3. Huduma Namba Secretariat, 21st Floor, Teleposta Towers.

Read the draft Huduma Bill, here.