Kenyan ID cards will be useless after December 2021, government says

The government has announced that national Identity Cards popularly known as ID cards will be useless beginning December 2021.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said Huduma Namba cards will begin to be used from December 1, 2020. Photo: Dignited.

This announcement comes after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and his Information Communication Technology (ICT) counterpart Joe Mucheru rolled out Huduma Cards distribution in Kiambu and Machakos respectively.

IDs will be useless

According to Mucheru, Huduma Namba cards will begin to be acknowledged and used as official identity cards from December 1, 2020.

The ICT CS also stated that this development means the current ID cards will be phased out by December 2021 to pave way for the new comprehensive identification card.

Kenya’s first Data Commissioner

The rollout has been commissioned following the swearing in of Kenya’s first Data Commissioner Immaculate Kassait who was sworn in after being vetted by Parliament.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru with a Huduma Card. Photo: Citizen.

Kassait’s roles among others include: enforcement of the Data Protection Act, promoting self regulation among data controllers and promoting international cooperation in data protection related issues.

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A Kenyan High Court stopped the issuance of the cards, terming the move unconstitutional as there was no data protection law to guide the process.

The new law created the office of the Data Commissioner who her immediate task will be ensuring issuance of Huduma Cards.

President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned the issuance of Huduma Cards in Kisii on October 20, 2020 during the Mashujaa Day Celebrations.

The Huduma Card will contain individual’s personal identification details and other public service details like National Insurance Fund and National Social Security Fund merged and installed in an electronic chip.

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