The government has halted the launch of third-generation IDs, dubbed the Maisha Namba.
In a statement issued on Friday, State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services PS Julius Bitok said the launch which was set to take place on Monday at Athletics Club, Nakuru, has been postponed “due to unavoidable circumstances”.
President William Ruto was going to preside over the event.
“A new date for the launch will be communicated in due course. Any inconvenience caused by the postponement is highly regretted,” said Bitok.
He, however, noted that the ongoing public participation and stakeholders’ engagement forums will carry on.
The launch of the new generation IDs will cost the taxpayer Sh1 billion.
“We have transitioned from Huduma Namba to Maisha Card. I want to point out that we will not go back to Kenyans for biometrics because we will use the existing database,” said Bitok.
The concept intends to provide residents and citizens with a distinctive and simple-to-verify digital identifier.
The government hopes to improve service delivery and encourage financial inclusion for all by establishing this digital ID system.
The Unique Personal Identifier can be used as both the index number for national exams and the school admittance number.
After turning 18, UPI can be used as an ID, a registration number for NHIF and NSSF, and a driving license number.
The proposed National Digital Identifier (Maisha Namba), Bitok said, has been approved by the National Digital Identity Technical Committee, which was tasked with developing a digital ID.
“At the end of 90 days we will roll out activities for the implementation of Maisha Namba,” he said.
The PS stated that a phased rollout of third-generation IDs is required.
“We will take between two to three years to transition to the new number if we issue about three to four million cards annually,” he said.
Kenyans who need new identification will instead receive the Maisha Card, instead of the second-generation cards.
“About 1.5 million IDs are replaced annually. Those replacing their lost or damaged IDs will get Maisha Cards,” he said.Email your news TIPS to Editor@kahawatungu.com or WhatsApp +254707482874