There is no denying that proposal by Deputy President William Ruto (seated right) to conduct a fresh digital registration of Kenyans is not only timely but urgent for Kenya.
Dubbed “super ID card”, the Government says the card will contain biometric information including an individual’s unique biological markers, social security and national insurance details.
It was further announced that a database of the new information will be established to give the State accurate and detailed information about all citizens.
There is always a sense of lack of legal security around the documents we hold – national ID card, voter cards, passports, births, marriage and death certificates since anyone can acquire similar genuine documents, in our very names, in a non-genuine manner.
Past talk of land titles, for instance, as “mere pieces of paper” by some senior government officials moved to confirm such fears to be valid. Their value to be held as collaterals with banks plummeted and today requires a lengthy and costly verification process.
What is even more crucial is that tracking any changes in civil status cannot be promptly recorded, as records are often incomplete and legal claims cannot be validated. This aspect alone explains the challenge of costly “ghost workers” who drain the economy.
Development of an automated and integrated registration system, meeting modern data management systems, is a key element to realizing integrity of citizen identification documentations.
From the scanty information available within the media, it is difficult to understand the scope of the proposed project, how much it will integrate data, what it intends to cure and most importantly the integrity of the entire system from abuse by those managing it.
The overall undisclosed cost would be another key aspect which will determine whether or not the project will succeed.
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