Kenyans Who Refused To Get Huduma Namba Get Reprieve in Court

  • Kenyans who declined to get the infamous Huduma Namba registration on Tuesday, July 27, got a temporary reprieve after a Nairobi court temporarily banned the government from denying them some public services. 

    The court temporarily suspended a proposal seeking to bar Kenyans who lack Huduma Namba card from the National Government’s Constituency Fund (NGCDF).

    The ruling made by the Court of Appeal allowed Kenyans to continue accessing the NGCDF until November 5 when they will know their fate.

    The reprieve came two days before the lapse of the extension given by the High Court nine months ago.

    Huduma namba being distributed in Nairobi on Thursday, February 4
    Huduma namba being distributed in Nairobi on Thursday, February 4

    The relief for Kenyans who refused to take Huduma Namba came after a spirited plea by National Assembly lawyers Paul Muite and Issa Mansur.

    Court of Appeal judges Agnes Murgor, Jessie Lesiit, and Pauline Nyamweya ordered that the laws should remain suspended until November 5.

    After the November 5 period lapses, the court will issue a new directive that will determine the fate of those who refused to get Huduma Namba.

    The development came after the High Court, in a past ruling, declared 23 laws that included Huduma Namba, Cybercrimes law, and NGCDF, it allowed the National Assembly and the National Senate to consult and validate them before July 29, 2021.

    ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru November 18, 2020, announced that the current card used as a National Identification Document would cease operating.

    The CS noted that National IDs would be replaced by Huduma Namba Cards. 

    Mucheru specifically revealed that the current ID card would become obsolete on December 12, 2021, after the nationwide rollout of the Huduma Namba.

    Interior CS Fred Matiang’i introduced the first Huduma Card and presented it to the Head of State and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta during the Mashujaa Day celebrations on October 20, 2020.

    During the launch, the CS announced that Huduma Namba will allow Kenyans to easily access all government services.

    However, the rollout was criticised by civil society groups after the Ministry of Interior made some subtle threats against those who did not wish to register for the Huduma Namba. 

    The ministry officials, however, denied any targetting of those who did not partake in the exercise – after the Senate summoned them to explain the alleged threats. 

    Undated image of Huduma Centre in Makadara, Nairobi
    Undated image of Huduma Centre in Makadara, Nairobi
    Capital Group