Here we are, at this moment and time, where the Jubilee government, where the Kenyatta administration has no issues to launch a bill so draconian. That the state are forgetting their role for the citizens in their drive to pursuit the registration of all with Huduma Numba.
As the bill states: “AN ACT of Parliament to establish the National Integrated Identity Management System; to promote efficient delivery of public services; to consolidate and harmonise the law on registration of persons;to facilitate assigning of Huduma Namba and issuance of identity documents;to facilitate registration of births and deaths;and for connected purposes” (The Huduma Bill, 2019).
This sounds legit, but at the same time, the registration for these reasons should already be in other parts of the legislation. Not for a NIMS or Huduma Namba but for a commercial ideal, which is an agreement between Mastercard and the Government of Kenya.
As explained here: “Nairobi, Kenya – February 7, 2017 – Mastercard commits to supporting the roll-out of the Huduma Card in Kenya as the technology partner of choice for the local government organisation. The secure payment solution supports Kenya’s Vision 2030 that calls for reforms in public services to enhance accountability, transparency and efficient service delivery, with focus on developing a cashless economy. The Huduma Card is a prepaid card with chip and PIN technology that will connect all Kenyans to the formal financial sector by providing a secure, reliable and flexible payment option. The Huduma Card, powered by Mastercard, is currently being issued by Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), Diamond Trust Bank (DTB), Equity Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), with no bank charges being allocated to citizens when registering for the smart card” (Mastercard, 2017).
Clearly, this should be a voluntary exercise, as the commercial aspect of this shouldn’t make this mandatory. However, with this law, they are really showing no regard for the public. As they are not asking people to accept a commercial agreement with Mastercard, but doing it mandatory.
As stated in the law here:
“8.(1) Every resident individual shall have a mandatory obligation to present theHudumaNambain order to—
(a)be issued with a passport;
(b)apply for a driving licence;
(c)register a mobile phone number;
(d)register as a voter;
(f)transaction the financial markets;
(g)open a bank account;
(h)register a company or a public benefit organisation;
(i)transfer or make any dealings in land;
(j)register for electricity connection;
(k)access universal health care services;
(l)benefit from the government housing scheme;
(m)register a marriage;
(n)enrol into a public educational facility;
(o)access social protection services;
(p)register or transfer a motor vehicle; or
(q)any other specified public service” (The Huduma Bill, 2019).
As you see from this, most of the state services are bound by having the Huduma Numba and the Mastercard connected to it. If you don’t have it, you are not getting access to government services. They have even more of them too, even passports:
“(2)The requirements for applying or replacing a Passport are—
(a) Huduma Namba;and
(b)prescribed fee” (The Huduma Bill, 2019)
So, by this state, even passing by a road-block, the Police Officers needs to see your Huduma Numba to let you pass by. To prove that your not a felon, but an innocent citizen.
To top this off, the legislators plans to sanctions the ones who doesn’t want to comply to this: “48.A person who carries out or permits the carrying out of any transaction specified in section 8 without a Huduma Namba commits an offence” (The Huduma Bill, 2019).
It is actually an felony to not comply with previous part of law. They are not only stopping people from getting government services if they don’t have the Huduma Numba and Card made by the Mastercard, but also making it a felony not to register it properly.
The giant lie of this bill, is this sentence in the ending of it:
“The Bill does not limit any fundamental right or freedoms” (The Huduma Bill, 2019).
Well, if you cannot access any of the government functions or get the needed services because of not having the Huduma Namba and Huduma Card, than your kind of limiting the fundamental rights or freedoms. The liberty of the person is taken away, as they got to do this. This is taking away people’s freedom, to put them into a government scheme, as they have signed off together with Mastercard. They could have done this with VISA and it would have been the same issue, even for Gods sake, American Express.
So, when CS Fred Matiang’i wrote that this bill doesn’t limit any fundamental righ or freedoms of its citizens. I believe he was high or drunk, because he couldn’t write that with a clear mind. Unless, his heartless and doesn’t understand the basic components of the bill. You don’t need to be a legal scholar to get the gist here. Peace.