Matiang'i on the Spot Over Huduma Namba

  • Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i was severely questioned over curious developments in the Huduma Namba exercise that came to an end in May.

    According to a report by The Standard on Monday, November 24, several senators sought to know how the process gobbled up Ksh8 billion.

    In a heated debate at the Senate, Jubilee nominated Senator Victor Prengei sought to know why the issuance of the Huduma Namba cards had not commenced.

    A Huduma Namba officer registering residents in May 2019

    The senator also wondered why some of the officers who conducted the process had not been paid six months after the completion of the registration exercise.

    “Why has there been delayed payment to officers who carried out the Huduma Namba registration exercise? The Defence and National Security Committee should explain, by way of tabling a report before the Senate, to justify spending Sh8 billion on NIIMS/Huduma Namba,” Prengei demanded.

    This is after Interior PS Karanja Kibicho came out to dispell claims that his ministry had asked the government for an additional Ksh1 billion for the printing of Huduma Namba cards.

    Kibicho clarified that the government had initially approved Ksh7.5 billion for the whole exercise but only Ksh5.5 billion had been released by Treasury.

    "It is out of this balance that the ministry has requested Ksh1 billion in order to pay 50,000 clerks for the 8 extra days worked upon the extension of the Huduma Namba exercise by President Uhuru Kenyatta," an excerpt from Kibicho's statement read.

    During the nationwide exercise that came to an end on May 25 after President Uhuru Kenyatta extended the deadline, the government stated that the number would ensure easy access to various services.

    “We were told that this one will be the most important number in this country and it will solve all our problems. About Ksh8 billion was used and still, those young men and women who toiled going to people’s houses and sitting in the cold have not been paid. This is shameful,” Wajir Senator Ali Ibrahim decried. 

    Senators Mutula Kilonzo Jnr (Makueni), Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), Enock Wambua (Kitui), Ochillo Ayako (Migori), Samson Cherargei (Nandi) and Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi) also sought to know when the data from the exercise would be made public and why it had not been released.

    “Where exactly is the position of the numbers we were supposed to be given and why have the numbers not been given? Why was it so urgent? The more important question is, where is the Huduma Namba?,” questioned Kilonzo Jnr.

    Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka directed the National Security and Defence Committee to summon CS Matiang’i to shed more light on the matter.

    An ongoing Senate in session. Senators put Matiang'i on the spot over Huduma Namba.