Gov’t dismisses claims by DP Ruto allies over Huduma Namba database

The government has now come out to dismiss claims that the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) is being manned by foreigners.

Moffat Kangi, the Principal Administrative Secretary (PAS) in the Office of the President, in a statement released on Friday sought to clarify that the system was fully designed by the government and is presently under the full control of Kenyans.

This comes a day after Deputy President William Ruto’s allies alleged of a plot to rig the 2022 elections using the Huduma Namba system which they claimed had been placed under a foreign company for manipulation.

NIIMS, according to the government, was conceptualized as an integrated database to capture the biometric data and other information of all Kenyans and foreign nationals living in the country; upon registration onto the system, one would then be given the Huduma Namba to enable them access government services.

“NIIMS, which will be the first of its kind in our history, will be the authentic ‘single source of truth’ on a person’s identity and guide national planning processes, facilitate access to government services, and address such crimes as impersonation, identity theft, fraud, and duplication in registration,” said Mr. Kangi in the statement.

“Following the mass registration exercise for Huduma Namba that was concluded on May 25, 2019, and June 20, 2019, in the country and the diaspora respectively, the government is well on course to operationalize the centralized biometric identity system.”

He added that: “The database logistics and the software for NIIMS are 100 per cent Kenyan government funded, designed, and developed, and solely managed by Kenyans. No single component of the implementation process is handled by foreigners.”

The PAS stated that over 90 per cent of datasets collected from 37 million Kenyans during the mass registration exercise have since been cleaned up and matched, further that mass production of the Huduma Cards will begin by the end of this year.

The Huduma Cards, he stated, will printed (and later issued) by the Interior ministry at a “state-of-the-art data centre” fully fitted with “a well-planned redundancy design and mission-critical applications contrived to ensure zero downtime and secure the data centre environment even in worst case scenarios.”

“The government urges Kenyans to be wary of misinformation, disinformation, and conspiracy theories propagated about Huduma Namba,” he stated.

DP Ruto’s allies, during a tour in Kajiado on Thursday, raised alarm saying there were “more questions than answers” regarding the Huduma Namba process.

The legislators – among them Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Nixon Korir (Lang’ata), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu) – claimed a foreign company was single-sourced through the National Intelligence Service (NIS) to manipulate the system.

“Hamuezi iba pesa ya corona halafu sasa mnataka tuweke mbuzi na kondoo na watoto eti tuweke kwa Huduma Namba…hatuwezi kubali mtuibie kura kutumia Huduma Namba,” said Ichung’wah.

Nyoro, on his part, stated: “Hao wazungu ambao wameletwa eti mambo ya Huduma Namba kuiba kura…sisi na nyinyi wamaasai tutachukua rungu tuwarudishe kwao.”

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