Huduma Namba revival

ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo said that President Uhuru Kenyatta's Huduma Namba project was a great idea, but he also said that the project failed because there wasn't enough effective awareness-raising.


Owalo, who made his remarks during an interview that took place on Tuesday night with Citizen TV, said that the mindset of the Kenya Kwanza government is consistent with the concept of Huduma Namba.


The CS said that the goal of both the Huduma Namba government and the KK government is to make it easier for Kenyans to use the many services the government offers.


Owalo said, "The goal of Huduma Namba was good because it tried to give us a digital identity that would make it easier for the government and the public to do business online when it came to providing services."

The intention of Huduma Namba was good because it was trying to ensure that we have a digital identity that could facilitate virtual transactions between the government and the public.


On the other hand, Owalo said that President Kenyatta made his biggest mistake by starting the programme when Kenyans were getting ready for national elections in 2022.


"If you recall, it was introduced into the world at a period when there was also a busy political climate. As a result, there were concerns," Owalo explained.

"The trap that Huduma Namba fell into was that there was not enough proper sensitization at the beginning of the process."


The CS said that President Ruto's government planned to use the initiative to move toward its goal of building a "Digital Superhighway."


He continued by saying that "that is the same thing we are going to do when we carry out this government digitization process because it is still vital that we don't require Kenyans to go to government offices flashing identification cards."

By the end of June, the administration led by Ruto intends to have digitised 5,000 different government functions.


At this point, at least 300 different government services have been digitalized.
On April 2, 2019, the project was officially kicked off in Machakos.


On the other hand, the Huduma Namba rollout was ruled unconstitutional by the High Court on October 14, 2021, on the grounds that it was in violation of the Data Protection Act, 2019, which was passed in 2019.


A data protection impact assessment must be performed before any data processing may take place, as stipulated by Section 31 of the Data Protection Act. 


This is done so that any possible risks of data processing can be identified and solutions can be made to deal with them.


While Justice Jairus Ngaah was explaining the decision, he said that the evaluation had not been done before the Huduma Namba cards were given out. 

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