The government has announced its intention to commence the registration of the proposed Maisha Namba digital identification system in Nakuru County next Monday.
During a media briefing on Thursday morning, Julius Bitok, the Principal Secretary of the State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services, clarified that this proposal is not entirely novel but represents an enhancement of previous initiatives.
Bitok stated, “We have a solution that we believe will revolutionize our nation,” emphasizing that the cornerstone of digital services is to establish a strong foundation at the identity level.
Maisha Namba, a 14-digit Unique Personal Identifier (UPI), will be assigned to newborns at birth and will serve as a lifelong identifier integrated into various documents such as birth certificates, Maisha cards, driver’s licenses, and even death certificates.
Bitok likened Maisha Namba to the Social Security numbers used by citizens and residents in the United States.
He acknowledged that lessons had been learned from previous similar endeavors, expressing confidence that they have now gotten it right.
“The government has made attempts at this before, with four previous trials that were unsuccessful due to exclusivity. This time, we aim to succeed by actively engaging with everyone who has differing ideas or opinions,” added Bitok.
Addressing concerns about the cost of the process for taxpayers, Bitok assured that they would not be seeking additional funds from the Treasury and would instead utilize the existing budget.
The State department, led by the PS, has been conducting public engagement sessions and awareness campaigns involving various stakeholders, including religious leaders, civil society organizations, the private sector, and the media.
Bitok also reassured the public that Maisha Namba fully complies with all relevant data protection laws and legal requirements.