Govt Sets Two- Year Cap for Issuance of Maisha Card

Immigration and Citizen Services Principal Secretary Julius Bitok on Wednesday revealed that the government will conclude the issuance of Maisha Cards in the next two years.

Speaking at the Network of Africa Data Protection Associations (NADPA) Conference in Nairobi, Bitok stated that the government was halfway through the process and exuded confidence that the rollout will run smoothly as planned.

He further clarified that the Ministry was enrolling about 20,000- 30,000 individuals per day making the 2-year cap achievable.

“On average, we are enrolling about 20,000-30,000 people every day. We are at 13 million and we’re looking at the entire population of Kenya which is 32 million adults. We are halfway and within one to two years, we should have everyone with a digital ID,” read the statement in part.

Immigration and Citizen Services Principal Secretary Julis Bitok addressing different State Agencies at Syokimau, Machakos County on November 8, 2023.



“There are four components in this digital ID ecosystem. Maisha Number, given to newborns which will run across their lives, in primary school, secondary, university, NSSF and NHIF and will appear in one’s death certificate,” stated Bitok. 

Adding onto his sentiments Bitok stated that the government was reliant on the digital ID to ensure Kenyan’s data safety and avert possible data and identity theft.

Bitok affirmed that the government agencies will no longer collect personal data from Kenyans as the Maisha card will serve this purpose.

The PS further revealed that the government will also vet the eCitizen system periodically to ensure the safety of Kenyans’ data.

Bitok stated that the government would also undertake data safety audits and sign a compulsory Memorandum of Understanding with any third-party data handlers to ensure that safety measures were undertaken.

The  Government’s hastening of the process of the issuance of digital IDs comes at a time when the Ministry of Interior removed the vetting process during the application of IDs.

According to the Ministry, the removal of the vetting process was geared at ending the discrimination historically meted on specific communities as their members apply for the document.

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