The government has refuted claims that DNA samples will be taken during the Sh6 billion digital registration exercise that seeks to give everyone in the country a unique code dubbed “Huduma Namba.”
The scope of data collection is allegedly restricted to external personally-identifying information (PII), including a digital photo, fingerprints and background information.
The state will roll out the mass biometric registration across the country from March 15, 2019 and will run for 45 days after which data cleansing will begin. The kits will left in the care of Assistant Chiefs who will then on register newborns.
Speaking in Mombasa during a security meeting, President Uhuru Kenyatta noted that the Huduma Namba “will be the authentic ‘single source of truth’ on personal identity in Kenya.”
“The database will contain information on all Kenyan citizens as well as foreign nationals residing in Kenya,” he said.
Some Kenyans have weighed in on the issue after it was said that those who dot register will not access essential government services.
“Every Kenyan has constitutional entitlement to public services. It is not a government privilege,” Mr Ndung’u Wainaina is quoted by the Nation.
Leading the #ResistHudumaNamba, Economist David Ndii has asked Kenyans to stay put and to not participate in the biometric registration exercise which has “has now morphed (pun intended) to a new-fangled parallel system which sounds like a social security cum surveillance system with commercial interests lurking in the background. If this was upgrading the ID system, there would be no need to threaten people with denial of services in order to comply. We are already accustomed to upgrading our IDs every so often.”
Critics have also been against the involvement of MasterCard in the project without public participation.
“Our Government needs to be Fully transparent on Huduma Namba. Is it related to previous Huduma Card run by Mastercard? Where will all individual information under Huduma Namba be domiciled? By MasterCard, a foreign company? How safe is the info from Criminal & Terrorist Hackers?” Lawyer Donald Kipkorir posed.
MasterCard did however respond to the people saying: ” “Huduma Card is a multi-purpose prepaid card.Which can be obtained at the following banks: CBA, DTB, EQUITY and KCB. It enables you to make and receive social payments safely, conveniently and without cash in store, online, by phone anywhere Mastercard’s accepted worldwide.”
The pilot phase of the project kicked off on Monday.