PS Kibicho denies bias claims on Huduma Namba

Interior PS Karanja Kibicho at the Milimani Law Courts on October 2, 2019. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Dr Kibicho told a bench of three judges that the system will also curb adulteration of data as captured in the national population record and by various departments.

  • He defended the vetting that members of various communities, including Nubians, Digos, Kurias, Somalis and Maasais, were subjected to, saying it was necessary because of the security risks posed by porous borders.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho Wednesday defended the National Integrated Identity Management System (Huduma Namba), saying it will ensure adequate planning and improve services.

He dispelled claims that the registration discriminated against some communities. The claim that Huduma Namba was meant to lock Nubians out is unfounded, he said.

CENTRALISING

The Nubian Rights Forum and Kenya Human Rights Commission have sued the government over the platform aimed at digitising and centralising the vital life event records of citizens and foreigners in Kenya.

 Dr Kibicho told a bench of three judges that the system will also curb adulteration of data as captured in the national population record and by various departments.

“We have had cases of people sharing identity card numbers and in many cases, non-Kenyans who have the documents. The system will cure all these,” he said while being examined by lawyer Njoroge Regeru.

He told justices Pauline Nyamweya, Mumbi Ngugi and Weldon Korir that during the voluntary national registration in April, the government managed to capture the data of about 38 million people. He noted that Sh9.6 billion was spent on the listing.

Dr Kibicho added that the system is intended to cure the previous shortcomings of the older system such as recovery of lost data.

COMPREHENSIVE

The system, he said, is a key decision-making component in providing services, a priority for the government under the Big Four agenda pillars of food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare.

He said the system will ensure availability of an accurate, reliable and comprehensive population registration database containing the civil status of the entire population. It will also enable verification, validation and authentication of primary data sources, which will ensure adequate planning and enable service delivery.

Dr Kibicho also dismissed fears that the system is prone to risks, although he admitted that an individual’s details will be available at the click of a button.

While being cross-examined by lawyer Martha Karua, Dr Kibicho defended the vetting that members of various communities, including Nubians, Digos, Kurias, Somalis and Maasais, were subjected to, saying it was necessary because of the security risks posed by porous borders.

The hearing continues.

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