Huduma Namba budget cut by half months after high court ruling

Huduma Namba budget has been cut by half, months after the high court ruling that declared the roll-out process illegal.

The budget for new person registration in Huduma Namba has been slashed by more than half by the National Treasury.

This means that the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS), which aims to aggregate Kenyans’ primary information into a single database, would be delayed.

In June, the Treasury set aside Sh1 billion for a second round of registration for people who missed the first round in 2019.

In the supplementary budget given to Parliament by Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, it has now decreased that allocation by Sh583.4 million.

NIIMS registered 38 million people in the first round.

This comes months after the High Court ruled that the government’s Huduma Namba rollout was illegal because it violated the Data Protection Act, despite the fact that the government had already spent more than Sh10 billion on it.

The government should have done an impact assessment before distributing the cards, according to Justice Jairus Ngaah. 

He directed it to perform the assessment in order to protect Kenyans’ personal information.

Yash Pal Ghai, a law professor, filed a lawsuit against the government, claiming that it was improper for the government to issue the cards without first performing assessments of how user data would be handled.

In order to develop and manage a central master database for information about persons, such as national identity cards and birth certificates, the government implemented NIIMS under Executive Order No. 1 (2018).

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