The government says that the current national identity cards will become obsolete on December 12th, 2021.
The national IDs will be replaced by Huduma Namba cards that will be issued to Kenyans starting December 1st, 2020, according to ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru.
“Vyombo vya serikali na watu wa biashara waanze kuweka teknolojia ile watatumia kwa hii card. Card itakuwa na QR code–ni code ile unaweza kusoma na simu, sio lazima uwe na ile machine,” CS Mucheru said on Wednesday.
“Sasa tumeanza mpango ili ofisi zote za serikali ziwe na hizo machines ndio ukifika huko unatumia card ama unaweka fingerprint, tunajua wewe ni nani na inaleta security na protection.”
The nationwide distribution of Huduma Namba cards follows the swearing-in of Immaculate Kassait as Kenya’s first Data Commissioner.
Kassait, who previously served as the Director of Voter Registration and Election Operations at Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), took her oath of office on Monday.
In her new role as the Data Commissioner, she will be responsible for the enforcement of the Data Protection Act, which was passed in November 2019. She will serve for a non-renewable term of six years.
Interior CS Fred Matiang'i last month said the rollout of the e-cards was delayed by the absence of a Data Commissioner.
On Wednesday, CS Mucheru said Kenyans will from December 1st this year receive short messages (SMSs) notifying them that their cards are ready for collection. Those who get SMS will be required to pick up their cards from designated centers within 30 days.
“Only the Huduma Card will help you get services from the government from December 12th, 2021,” he said.