Huduma Namba listing should be compulsory, says Raila

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ODM leader Raila Odinga

ODM leader Raila Odinga addresses mourners at the funeral of Mzee Joshua Osamba at Wanda Village in Nyakach, Kisumu County, on April 20, 2019. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By VICTOR RABALLA
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Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga is of the view that it should be compulsory for Kenyans to register for Huduma Namba.

Registration for the National Integrated Identity Management System (Niims) started 16 days ago and President Uhuru Kenyatta said a total of 11 million people have been listed so far. The government is targeting to register 40 million citizens by May 17.

In Kisumu on Saturday, Mr Odinga noted that the system will promote accountability and efficiency in the delivery of government services.

He dismissed those against it and called on the public to turn up in large numbers for registration.

“The government has been working on estimates over the years and this has made it difficult to effectively cater for the needs of people in various segments of the economy,” he said at the funeral of Mzee Joshua Osamba at Wanda village in Nyakach Sub-county. “It is important for all Kenyans to be part of this initiative for their details to be accurately captured.”

TRUE STATUS

The ODM leader said information in the Niims will be corroborated with that from the national census in August, for verification of details and to prevent manipulation.

“Unlike in the past when census results were altered for political expediency, the 2019 exercise will guarantee fairness and reflect the true status of the country,” he said.

Mr Odinga noted that Kenya is following the paths of Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Canada, which have embraced technological advancements.

“We want to know how many people have entered the country, how many children are born, how many mothers are expectant, among other statistical data,” said the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure.

However, he assured Kenyans that the government has nothing against them and pointed out that a court said they should not be compelled to register.

SO FAR

On Thursday, the Communications Authority denied reports that is had threatened to block the SIM cards of people who do not acquire the Huduma Namba.

After the reports, State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita and the Information ministry clarified that the exercise was voluntary and said no such instruction had been issued.

On Friday, President Kenyatta said Kenyans living in the diaspora will start their listing at Kenyan embassies and consulates on May 6, an exercise set to take 45 days.

He also urged the public to take advantage of the Easter holiday as registration centers will be open.

In Nyanza, Regional Commissioner Mr James Kianda said on Friday that registration agents will, from next week, visit specific institutions, including hospitals, supermarkets and industrial areas, for the exercise.

He reported that at least 1.4 million people had been registered in Nyanza.

HANDSHAKE

Mr Odinga toured Kisumu with leaders including Deputy Governor Mathews Owili and his Vihiga counterpart Patrick Saisi, Nyando MP Jared Okello and Nyakach’s Aduma Owuor.

He made stopovers to address his supporters at Ahero, Katito and Sondu markets, where he reiterated that nothing will stop him from working with President Uhuru Kenyatta to eradicate problems such as poverty, illiteracy and diseases.

He said he will accompany President Kenyatta to China this week to seek funds for the extension of standard gauge railway from Naivasha to Kisumu.





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