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Government warns of Huduma Namba fraudsters

A week after the government rolled out the mass distribution of Huduma Namba cards, only 300,000 out of 2.2 million people have responded to the messages sent to them.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Government Spokesperson Colonel (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna urged Kenyans to collect their cards whenever notified, so as to facilitate a smooth process.

“2.2 million messages have been sent to different cardholders, it is sad that up to now only 300,000 have responded to the text messages. We would like to urge those who have received the messages to provide the requested information and subsequently pick the cards,” he said

Colonel (Rtd) Oguna said the distribution that started in Nairobi on February 2 will move to other counties in two weeks.

The spokesperson said the Huduma Secretariat has been sending out two messages to those who had registered with the first requesting the details of where they would like to collect their cards while the second one informs them that their cards are ready.

At the same time, Oguna asked Kenyans to be vigilant when they get messages regarding the collection of the cards, warning that fraudsters have been asking for money claiming to be in a position to distribute the cards.

“There are fraudsters out there some of them have sent messages asking Kenyans to send Sh100 to process the cards, we are telling you that Huduma Namba is free and the message will come with HUDUMA NAMBA as recipient other than the telephone number.”

The government announced that the second registration will start in April, giving a chance to those who did not enroll in the first exercise to acquire the document set to replace the national identity card.

Out of those who registered he said 20 million are adults, while the rest fall below the age of 18 years.

Huduma Namba is a system that seeks to register all Kenyans under a new database.

The registration process requires a ton of information from the user, including biometric data. The need for all that information has been questioned, probably because at the registration time, the state did not have any Data Protection laws (the Data Protection Bill was signed in late 2019, and has since seen the establishment of the Data Commissioner office).