National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has recalled Members of Parliament from recess to discuss the Huduma Bill, 2021.
The debate has been slated for Wednesday, July 13, and should it be passed, it will affect nine existing laws, including the Elections Act.
The Huduma Bill proposes that the IEBC uses its database as the source of the main voter register. If enacted before the August 9, poll, the development is likely to affect the IEBC plans as the digital kits have already been reset with the existing register.
According to the new proposals in the Huduma Bill, government departments such as the registration of births and demises, National ID and Immigration, will be consolidated and placed under the Interior Principal Secretary.
The Directorate of Immigration Services had faulted the bill and called for public participation in the process.
According to the directorate, the database was a national population register and could not, on its own, replace immigration functions.
Further, the Immigration Department argued that the proposed changes would negatively impact the careers of immigration officers and affect donor support for studies.
Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina, also supported the immigration officials opposed to the bill, arguing that the bill had some dangerous clauses and did not need to be passed in the current form.
“I am aware that there’s a Huduma Bill, and that Huduma Bill is extremely dangerous because it will convert all immigration officers into nymphs. How dare you say that a passport is a primary document?" posed Ole Kina.
The bill also seeks to issue Huduma Namba to newborns for tax reasons. The revision states that Huduma Namba will be assigned at birth, or upon enrolment.
The registration exercise should be done within 90 days of birth and is compulsory. Late registrations will be met with a payment of a late registration penalty.
When a child gets to the age of six, then the parent will be asked to provide the necessary biometric data for the child to update their file in NIIMS.
Kenyans who enroll in NIIMs are then issued with a Huduma Card. Minors will be issued with a Minor’s Huduma Card. Refugees and foreigners will also be issued their respective Huduma Cards.
"A child shall be enrolled into NIIMs – (a) in case of a newborn, immediately after birth; or (b) in the case of any other child upon appearing before a NIIMS designated officer accompanied by a parent or a guardian and providing the particulars set out in the First Schedule," reads part of the Huduma Bill 2021.
Once a minor attains the age of 18, he or she shall be issued with a relevant adult’s Huduma Card.
"Every resident individual who has enrolled into the NIIMS established under the Huduma Act shall by default be registered as a taxpayer upon attaining the age of 18," the proposed law states.