- Next week, the government is finally calling for the views of Kenya on the Huduma Bill, conducting a public participation forum at the Kenya School of Government.
- The thing is, even though Kenyans were receiving services before, we weren’t doing it in a way that is controlled by a central (unguided) database.
- But when the bill becomes law, people who seek services without the number will be jailed for one year or pay a fine of Sh1 million.
- Perhaps for once, the government will miraculously care for something other than its fat pockets and runaway borrowing.
Next week, the government is finally calling for the views of Kenya on the Huduma Bill, conducting a public participation forum at the Kenya School of Government (far enough for people who don’t care enough to not come) on July 31 (mid-week for working Kenyans, who are not likely to take a morning off) from 9 am. This bill that they want to pass will basically make you a criminal for doing anything without a Huduma Namba – and that is not an exaggeration. It’s almost as if the government is redefining what it means to be a citizen by the card, instead of by birth.
The Daily Nation has previously stated that ''The Huduma card shall serve as the official government-issued document for identification and conduct of transactions. This means that you will be required to have Huduma Namba to register as a voter, access universal healthcare, passport, apply for a driving licence, register a mobile phone number, pay taxes, transact in the financial markets and open a bank account.''
The thing is, even though Kenyans were doing all of these things before, we weren’t doing it in a way that is controlled by a central (unguided) database. Even though when you key in your KRA pin, it automatically links to your email address, ID number, phone number, etc. – as does our new driver’s licenses with chips in them, and our passports – but apparently that isn’t enough linking. Apparently we need to once again link our information in another new system that will beat anything we have had before, ignoring the fact that the only things our current systems have managed to beat is a record for inefficiency. For some reason, we are to believe that this new dispensation will somehow offer a whole new world to us, while being run by the same people, with the same computers, in the same companies. But we’ll be made to pay for it again, I am sure, in a bold new budget that makes sure we pay for our debt to China with a whole country 14 times over.