Kenya will phase out current national identity cards by December next year, the government announced on Wednesday.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said transition from national identity cards to Huduma Namba cards will take 12 months.
Kenyans as well as foreign residents who registered for the Huduma number will in two weeks’ time start receiving text messages informing them on where to pick their cards, marking the beginning of the end for the current national identity cards as we know them.
The Huduma smart card, whose roll out has been dogged by controversies, will in the next 12 months become the single, digital identifier for all Kenyan citizens and resident foreigners when seeking services from public offices.
“The national ID, going forward, is going to be the Huduma card… we have legal issues but once the Huduma Bill is enacted by Parliament the current IDs will be collapsed to the Huduma card,” said the Information and Communications Cabinet Secretary, Joe Mucheru, in an interview Wednesday after launching issuance of the cards in Machakos town.