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Lawmaker proposes single ID cards

MPs yesterday supported a motion compelling the government to implement a single identification system for citizens.The motion, introduced by Kitui Rural MP Charles Nyamai proposes a  system that entails issuance of a single electronic card that will capture details of one’s birth certificate, ID, passports, elector’s cards, driving licenses, NHIF and NSSF.

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Ugunja MP James Opiyo Kenyans  said this will save Kenyan’s the time they spent  trying to acquire these basic documents. He said with modern technology, those seeking such documents do not need to queue.

“It is not rocket science to implement a system that ensures when the children are born they acquire a birth certificate automatically,” he said.

He said such a system should capture a child details when it enrolls at school and continue capturing more bio data as the child progresses.

Leader of minority Francis Nyenze said it is difficult and expensive for Kenyans to acquire all these documents which they cannot do without.  He said that an electronic system capturing one’s bio data will reduce cases of forgery and corruption. “Instead of Kenyans suffering this much, we should have a more centralised system,” he said.

Nyenze said terrorists who attack Kenya have use identification documents illegally issued by the government officials. Nominated MP Sonia Birdi complained that issuance of driving licenses at the Kenya Revenue Authority is characterized by long queues which she said will dealt with in case a unified central electronic system is adopted.

She however warned government to be cautious of hackers incase an electronic registration system is embraced. Njoro MP Joseph Kiuna said Kenyans should carry only one or two cards for all bio data. He also called for an overhaul of the department of immigration which he said is bureaucratic and corrupt.

“If there is a ministry that needs total overhaul, it is the ministry of immigration because any person can get a passport or a work permit so long as you cough something,” said Kiuna. The resolution of the House will be passed to the executive for implementation. The House resolved that it was time the government computerize its systems of capturing the bio data of citizens.

The MPs said this will reduce cases of crucial documents such as IDs and passports ending up in the hands of non-Kenyans some linked to terrorist groupings.

The House noted that embracing a national unified identification system that harmonizes all personal bio data will be in line with Government promise to embrace new ICT measures in line with Vision 2030.

The motion was introduced by Kitui Rural MP Charles Nyamai. The MP noted that the process of obtaining national identification documents such as birth certificates and national identification cards is long and complex due to the different centres of processing such documentation.

-The Star

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