Huduma Namba drive off to a slow start amid protests

Kenyans take part in the National Integrated Identity Management System registration exercise at MV Patel Memorial Hall in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, on April 4, 2019. The activity has been hit by technical problems in other counties. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Human rights groups asked Kenyans to boycott the registration until frameworks are put in place to support the system.
  • Governor Ongwae said his administration had partnered with the national government to educate locals about the programme.

The National Integrated Identity Management System registration continued at a slow pace even as it emerged that the exercise is yet to start in four counties.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho on Thursday said in Kwale, Lamu, Kisumu and Tana River, registration will be extended.

By midday Thursday, 150,000 people had been registered since the official launch on Tuesday.

"There are also network challenges and some kits have failed, but we have dispatched ICT officers to address these issues," Mr Kibicho, who co-chairs the National Technical Committee for the implementation of NIIMS, said in a briefing in Nairobi.

To ease the registration, the government has asked those with internet access to download the forms and fill them before presentation to clerks spread out in the 8,500 sub-locations.

DATA SAFETY

Elsewhere, human rights groups asked Kenyans to boycott the registration until frameworks are put in place to support the system.

Speaking to journalists at the Kenya Human Rights Commission offices in Nairobi, Ms Diana Gichengo, KHRC programme manager, said she believes the government should suspend NIIMS altogether amid fears on the safety of the data collected.

Ms Gichengo also revealed that the lobby had received claims of threats issued to county workers that their salaries would be withheld should they fail to register with the new system.

In Nakuru, registration was characterised by low turnout even as the county targets to register 48,000 people per day.

Residents of Kaptembwa, Nakuru West, on Thursday said they took hours in the queue before they could register as some of the registration kits were reported to have failed.

SENSITISE LOCALS

County commissioner Erustus Mbui confirmed that some of the kits had failed and they needed to be serviced. He added that all the machines will be in good condition in a few days’ time.

In Vihiga County, registration assistants said their gadgets had failed to configure to NIIMS.

A few centres however reported that their gadgets were working effectively. In most centres, only one gadget was working against long queues of people seeking to be registered.

In Kisii, Governor James Ongwae joined locals to be registered.

Governor Ongwae said his administration had partnered with the national government to educate locals about the programme, and facilitation funds have been set aside.

POOR NETWORK

In Savane Sub-location, Kakamega South Sub-County, chief Naftali Mutsotso said the registration was progressing well despite a few issues.

Kisumu County finally started registration on Thursday after two days of technical hitches, with County Commissioner Pauline Dola apologising to those who braved the sun only to be turned away.

In Homa Bay, residents were turned away due to system failure.

In Tana River, poor network connectivity hampered registration in parts of Bura and Galole sub-counties.

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