By Vincent Munga
A Lobby group is seeking to submit a petition to the High Court of Kenya to block the government from implementing a Unique Personal Identifier (UPI) as a means to identify Kenyans and to centralise their details.
Operation Linda Ugatuzi will today, 13th June 2023, head to parliament too to ask Parliament not to pass the budget for the proposed project by the Kenya Kwanza government terming it a waste of public resources.
The group believes that the new government project to integrate data is a heist to steal public money in the guise of a project that Huduma Namba had already covered.
Dr Fred Ogola, the leader of operation Linda Ugatuzi says the same features that were captured under Huduma Namba are the ones being fronted in the new initiative.
Under Huduma Namba one would have been required to provide the number in case they want to transfer, or make any dealings in land, pay taxes, transact in the financial markets, open a bank account, access universal health care services, benefit from the government’s housing scheme as well as access social protection services.
“We are calling on the government to leverage and build on the existing infrastructure provided for through Huduma Namba,” Ogola said in a press conference held in Nairobi.
Mr. Ogola wondered why the Kenya Kwanza government intends to put Sh11.2 B into the budget on a project that is already implemented.
He also questioned the security of the Citizens data.
“With your birth, education, health data, financial data, government services data sitting in a foreign country, the risk is too much yet Kenya has a policy in data sovereignty. This is like selling our sovereignty to a country like Pakistan while Huduma has the servers and printers in the country,” he said.
The government is set to roll out the Unique Personal Identifier (UPI) registration that will see the scraping off of the counting of people during the national census and also give newborns in Kenya a distinct lifetime registration number.
The exercise has been set for September 16, 2023 to coincide with the global date set aside to mark milestones in digital identity.