The senate has suspended National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) registration exercise until further notice.
According to the legislators, the senate arrived at the decision after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi and his ICT counterpart Joe Mucheru snubbed summons by the Standing Committee on National Security, Defense and Foreign Relations on Thursday.
The two CSs, had sent their administrative secretaries to represent them instead, a move that was overly criticized by the legislators led by Vice Chairman Johnston Sakaja.
“You have 30 senators before you… and the communication was with you by February 22 to appear here. This looks like a delaying tactic,” Sakaja said.
“As you are doing that delaying tactic, the process is going on… the Interior PS is in Radio Citizen right now and cannot talk to senators…AG is saying they are attending the State of Judiciary event.”
Consequently, the house noted that the exercise will only continue after the two CSs appear before the Senate Standing Committee on National Security, Defense and Foreign Relations on March 11, 2019.
“We shall invite all interested parties. Until then, this process should be suspended…if you are available tomorrow we will sit down and talk.. until then the Senate directs that the matter be suspended until your colleagues find it well that they appear here,” the Nairobi senator said.
During the session, the two are expected to give answers as to why Parliament was not briefed on the intended registration before its roll.
CSs Matiangi and Mucheru are also expected to appraise the legislators on the National Integrated Identity Management System, following concerns raised by Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot on data privacy.
Attorney General Paul Kihara is also set to appear alongside the two, to answer to Huduma Number queries.
The digital registration exercise is set to capture a person’s data including age, gender, level of education, marital status, place of residence, source of livelihood and other details.
The exercise has since been launched in Nairobi, Uasin Gishu, Kajiado, Baringo, Marsabit, Kisii, Wajir, Kilifi, Tana River Embu, Makueni, Busia, Nyandarua and Kiambu counties.
Through the program, the government announced that, every Kenyan will be given a Huduma Namba (Service number) that uniquely identifies them.
Foreigners will also not be left behind, as they will be expected to record reasons for being in the country.