The Kenyan National Assembly introduced the Huduma Bill of 2021 to the floor of parliament for its first reading and opened it up for public participation amid the festivities of the year-end. Debate over what is contained in the Huduma Bill has since filled the discourse in both the main media outlets and social media
Previous Huduma Bills 2019 and 2020 failed to address key issues of inclusivity raised in court petitions, court orders, and memorandums civil organizations and the public submitted — but now we have the chance to shape these in the Huduma Bill 2021.
As a nation it is very important to reflect on this and what changes we need to see in the National Integrated Identity Management System (popularly known as Huduma Namba – Swahili for ‘service number’) — and in Kenya’s identification system as a whole. It is a blessing for the nation to shape the next steps in ensuring inclusive identification of persons, including ensuring the government responds to the judiciary’s pronouncements to having a comprehensive legislative framework on privacy and inclusion.
But what is inclusion, and how does it look like for the common citizenry? Inclusion is the ability for everyone to equally access documentation despite their diversity. It is a good opportunity as a nation to consider at-risk communities that are left at the mercy of the registration clerks to have a final say on whether they can get legal identification or not.
Some of these at risk communities are street children who have no documentation and even if they were to get they may not want to be associated with the families that they ran away from. Some of these street children come from what could be abusive homes. Then how do we ensure they have equal access to legal documentation?
Then there are ethnic and religious minorities, like the Nubians and other Muslims, who for years have a bigger burden of proving they are Kenyan to acquire an ID card just because of their names or tribe — even when they have their birth certificate and parents’ ID cards in hand. We need to ask ourselves is it now time to have an ultimate proof of nationality?
Also note that an ID is not considered proof of nationality neither is a passport, as the current laws on identity stand. A passport is a mere travel document. Minority groups such as Muslims can attest to this because they get vetted to get an ID and still get vetted to get a passport. It is also clearly indicated on all Kenyan birth certificates that it is “not proof of nationality”.
PROOF OF NATIONALITY
The Bill proposes to repeal the Registration of Persons Act and the Kenya Citizens and Foreign Nationals Management Service Act 2011 both very key acts in terms of nationality rights and identification in Kenya. The Bill further plans to introduce a passport as the ultimate proof of nationality and residence in Kenya. This is an important move though wrongly placed as not everyone can access or needs a passport.
The high costs of a passport, of more than 4,000 shillings, is already prohibitive and making it the only proof of nationality is unfounded. Proof of nationality should be available to all Kenyans at birth and not when one wants a travel document. Just like proof of nationality for citizens by registration is upon registration, proof of nationality by birth should be upon registration of birth thus should be placed on a birth certificate.
For many years nationality rights advocates have been championing for proof of nationality to be at birth and the Bill now offers an opportunity to influence this by ensuring the public weigh in on this issue.
Media reports have run to publish how Huduma Namba will be a requirement for taxation and voting purposes. While these are indicated in the 2021 Bill, there are other issues of concern including proof of nationality, proper governance and oversight, and clarity on transition from old to the new identification system, that need to be highlighted for the public and lawmakers attention.
Another section of the Bill we need to look at closely is the penalty section for mutilation and failure to register for Huduma Namba. For mutilation the previous version of the bill was heavy on mutilation yet they are planning to issue these cards to children. The same children who go out to school with a blue mask and go back home with a pink one. Well, we know what to expect.
The most important thing is that this Bill presents an opportunity to shape the law that governs our registration system.
Lest we also forget that we have millions of uncollected Huduma Namba cards in the hands of chiefs and other administrative offices. Let’s not be quick to judge what we cannot access without a Huduma card and focus on how to align the system with the Constitution. As it is now, it contravenes two major constitutional principles of inclusion and right to privacy. This has been ruled in several court judgements and it is good that we now get to consider this Bill as a nation and hope it cures these and other ills plaguing our identification system.
Last updated January 30, 2013.
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Welcome to the namati.org website (the “Site”) and the Legal Empowerment Network Forum (the “Forum”) operated by Namati, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Namati”, “we”, “us” or “our”). We share your concern about the protection of your personal information online.
This Policy describes our privacy practices and sets out your obligations and ours with respect to your use of the Site and the Forum. This Policy applies only to the Site and the Forum and does not necessarily apply to our offline collection of information.
Namati may collect and retain two types of information about Site and Forum visitors: (i) personal information that individual visitors voluntarily provide when interacting on the Site or Forum or on certain other occasions (such as via forms or in emails); and (ii) tracking data, which is data that is automatically collected from every Site and Forum visitor as they use and browse the site.
We may, from time to time, store and archive the information you submit to or through the Site and Forum. The information that we gather may include your name, title, and address, telephone number, email address, credit card number or other elements of personal information. In addition, if you contact us, we may keep a record of your correspondence, including any information contained therein.
You may decline to provide any personal information, but please realize that you thereby may be unable to register or to participate in activities or services offered on the Site and/or Forum.
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Your Information is stored on Digital Ocean servers in New York, USA, and WPengine servers located in Texas, USA. When you provide personal information to us, we request your consent to transfer that personal information to the USA. The USA does not have an adequacy decision from the European Commission, which means that the Commission has not determined that the laws of the USA provide adequate protection for personal information. Although the laws of the USA do not provide legal protection that is equivalent to the EU GDPR, we safeguard your personal information by treating it in accordance with this Policy. We take appropriate steps to protect your privacy and implement reasonable security measures to protect your personal information in storage. We use secure transmission methods to collect personal data through our website. We also enter into contracts with our data processors that require them to treat personal information in a manner that is consistent with this Policy.
We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorized way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.
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Namati is concerned about the privacy protection of children who access the Internet and this website is not intended for children and we do not knowingly collect data relating to children. Accordingly, the Site and Forum are not intended for use by anyone under the age of 16, and we do not knowingly collect information from anyone under 16 years of age without the consent of a parent or guardian.
We reserve the right to disclose any information to comply with any law, regulation, decree, judgment, order, subpoena or any other governmental order (“Order”) without any obligation to contest or verify the accuracy of such Order.
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The section titles in this Policy are for convenience only and have no legal or contractual effect. The Site, the Learning Site, the Forum, and any third-party services they use, may be subject to additional terms and conditions regarding privacy and use of information. Your use of the Site and the Forum is subject to those terms and conditions, which are incorporated into this Policy by reference. In the event of an inconsistency between this Policy and any additional posted conditions, the provisions of the additional conditions shall control.
We may need to change the Policy from time to time in order to address new issues and to reflect changes on the Site or in the law. We reserve the right to revise or make any changes to the Policy, and your continued use of the Site subsequent to any changes to this Policy will mean that you agree to and accept such changes. You can tell if the Policy has been updated by checking the last revised date posted on the top of this page. Historic versions can be obtained by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also access, remove, update or correct your information, and raise any questions or concerns regarding the Site or the Policy, by emailing email@example.com, or mailing:
Namati Data Protection Officer
1616 P Street NW, Suite 101
Washington, DC 20036, USA
It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with us.
You have the right to:
Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.
Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.
Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it has an impact on your fundamental rights and freedoms. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes. In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.
Request restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios:
Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party. We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.
Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.
You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive. Alternatively, we could refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances.
We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to speed up our response.
We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it could take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.
If you live in an EEA Member State, all of which have adopted the EU GDPR and national , you have a right to lodge a complaint with your relevant supervisory authority about this policy and its application. The European Commission has a list of EU national data protection authorities here:
If you live in the United Kingdom, you have a right to lodge a complaint with your relevant supervisory authority, the ICO, about this policy and its application:
The Policy was updated in July 2022 to comply with the General Data Protection Regulations.