An insider at the Ministry of Interior has certified that the configuration of the microchips on Kenyan identification cards complies with current international standards.

A person familiar with the matter revealed that the microchips had a certain lifespan before they stopped working. The IDs will be refreshed every ten years in this scenario.

He went on to say that the government's promise to follow the High Court's decision that stopped Maisha Namba's deployment had nothing to do with the new configuration.

The High Court put a hold on the launch in December 2023 until a dispute challenging the Maisha Namba process's legitimacy was resolved.

"We had already set up our systems to work with the microchip, but we still accept the court's judgement. According to the source," it is unrelated to Maisha Namba and the gathering of funds as speculation circulates online."

“A chip has a certain amount of time that it can run. Take ATM cards as an example; their chips typically survive for about five years. Thus, the microchip will function normally for a period of ten years. Everything that calls for a microchip follows the same reasoning."

In addition, the insider said that microchip setup is a standard procedure worldwide, adding another degree of protection for biometric data.

He said, "It's an international procedure that is not just in Kenya," but he wouldn't say whether or not current ID holders in Kenya would have to apply for replacement versions.

Kenya Identity Cards

Rumours about the implementation of ID expiration dates dominated social media on Thursday, with many users suspecting the government of trying to use the plan to boost its revenue.

The Interior Ministry proposed a Ksh1,000 fee for new ID applications and a Ksh2,000 fee for replacement cards in November.

The Interior Ministry of Kenya lowered the fee for replacing an ID to Ksh1,000 and Ksh300 for new applicants in response to the outcry from Kenyans. But the court put a hold on these accusations until a petition was decided upon.

The Ministry of the Interior's Department of Immigration has yet to make a formal announcement about the expiration of national IDs.

A parent made the accusation that their daughter got an ID card this month featuring Maisha Namba on Thursday, January 25. The Ministry of Interior denied the claim.

In January, my daughter got her ID card. It does, in fact, have an expiration date and features Maisha heavily. Is it therefore necessary for individuals to always have to go through the hassle of obtaining a new identification? What is going on? " the parent expressed concerns.

I just learned that when you request a new ID, it is issued under the name Maisha Namba and has a validity date. A national identification card shouldn't have an expiration date, right? Someone else asked.

In an effort to replace the second-generation IDs, the government of President William Ruto launched the Maisha Namba. A Unique Personal Identifier (UPI) was supposed to be a part of it; it would serve as a reference for registration and identification throughout one's life.


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