Kenyans have one more week to register for Huduma Namba, following an order for an extension by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Friday was the last day for the listing so long queues were the order of the day as members of the public skipped work, school and other engagements in a last-minute rush.
In a statement on Friday evening, President Kenyatta said the long queues “bring to the fore an ingrained last-minute rush habit that holds us back”.
“Nevertheless, Kenyans are determined to register for their Huduma Namba [so] I have obliged to the numerous requests to give them an opportunity to do so,” he said.
The President said he had directed the National Inter-ministerial Committee for implementation of the programme to extend the registration for a week. As such, the exercise will close at 6pm on May 25.
He said the diaspora mass registration exercise which started on May 6 will continue at all of Kenya’s missions until June 20.
Among those caught up in the last-minute rush was retired President Daniel arap Moi, who got registered at his Kabarnet Gardens residence in Nairobi on Friday.
The retired president registered in the company of ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.
At most registration centres in major towns across the country, registration clerks struggled to attend to the large numbers of people who turned up.
Considering this, President Kenyatta thanked the 42,000 registration assistants, 8,000 registration officers and 400 ICT officers carrying out the exercise across the country.
In Nakuru, majority of the registration centres had only two or three machines.
County Commissioner Erustus Mbui said about 1.5 million had been listed by Thursday against a target of 2.3 million.
“By close of business on Thursday, Nakuru had registered some 1.49 million people, representing 64.3 per cent of the total number. We are expecting 800,000 more people to register before the closing date,” he said.
The county had set a daily target of 51,800 but Mr Mbui said that was not achieved as there were many challenges.
The situation was replicated at a number of registration centres in Kisumu, Kisii and Kakamega, with long queues witnessed at birth certificate and ID card offices as people tried to acquire the documents required for the registration.
In Kisii, a spot check by the Nation found that a majority of locals could not be registered because they did not have ID cards and birth certificates.
County Commissioner Godfrey Kigochi said the target was 1.9 million but that only half of that number had been registered by close of business on Thursday.
Nyanza Regional Commissioner James Kianda assured those who turned up that they would all be registered.
In Kakamega, there were long queues at registration centres from as early as 6am.
County Commissioner Abdirizak Jaldesa said 1.26 million persons signed up.
In Tana River, registration clerks took the exercise to residents’ doorsteps and also visited hospitals, offices and even prisons to ensure nobody missed out.
In Uasin Gishu County, thousands lined up from as early as 4am to get registered.
In Turkana County, Governor Josphat Nanok said many residents would miss out because they were more concerned about access to food and water.