Registration for Huduma Namba is not mandatory and the government should not set any deadlines, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) said on Friday.
In a statement to newsrooms on Friday, the LSK further said that no one should be forced to acquire the number.
“Members of the public are advised that based on the Court orders, registration for Huduma Namba is not mandatory…No one should be denied any government services for failing to register, ” read the statement.
While citing a circular by the Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of National Government informing Kenyans of the Saturday May 18, 2019 deadline for the mass registration process, LSK termed it as ‘misleading information.
The society expressed concerns over the purported consequences communicated to Kenyans through the media over failure to register saying that the matter is still in court.
On April 1, 2019, a three-judge bench comprising Justices Weldon Korir, Pauline Nyamweya and Mumbi Ngugi, ruled that the government should not make the exercise mandatory or issue deadlines for the collection of NIIMS data.
The government was also barred from denying any unregistered person access to any State services.
The government was also barred from collecting DNA data and GPS coordinates as part of the NIIMS data, pending determination of the case challenging the exercise as well as sharing the NIIMS information with any foreign organization. Friday
On Friday, LSK President Allen Gichuhi urge the government to fast track the finalization of the Data Protection Bill 2018.
According to him, the Bill is way overdue and encourages the use of public participation as a means to get views and input from the public and stakeholders to ensure that all concerns are captured and articulated by Law.
This comes even as Kenyans rushed to beat the Saturday deadline for the mass registration.
Majority of registration centers across the country experienced long queues with people turning up as early as 5am to avoid the unknown consequences that hang over the heads of those who will not have registered.
Huduma Namba otherwise known as the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) is designed to capture data for persons from the age of 6.
It will create and manage a central master population register that the government says will be the authentic source of truth of identity of all persons residing in Kenya including foreigners.
Each NIIMS registration will generate a unique number to be known as a Huduma Namba.
The purpose of Huduma Namba will be to assign a personal unique identification to facilitate government services after capturing bio-metric data of all citizens and foreigners.