Matiang’i criticizes  court over its move to declare  Huduma Namba rollout illegal

Matiang’i criticizes court over its move to declare Huduma Namba rollout illegal

BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,15TH OCT,2021-Interior CS Fred Matiang’i has faulted the High Court’s decision declare Huduma Namba cards rollout illegal. Attorney General Kihara Kariuki on Friday filed a notice of appeal against the judgment delivered on Thursday by Justice Jairus Ngaah.

Matiang’i said the government is still on course to digitise services. The CS spoke on Friday during a meeting with Assistant County Commissioners at the Kenya School of Adventure and Leadership (KESAL).

“The decision to appeal is informed by the conviction the High Court decision is based on wrong interpretation of the essence and the practical intentions of Huduma Card,” Matiang’i said.

He added that the argument from the court that the validation of relevant data was not factored is ‘spurious’.

“Huduma Card is essentially a collation of different identity documents already issued and certified by government and government agencies.”

The CS added that digitisation of identification documents into a unitary/master ID system is a global trend and Kenya is no exception.

In his ruling, Ngaah said the state erred by not conducting a data protection impact assessment before rolling out the cards.

“An order is hereby issued to bring into this honourable court to quash the government decision of November 18 2020 to roll out Huduma cards for being ultra vires of the data protection act 2019,” the court ruled.

The judge also ordered the government to carry out the impact assessment before rolling out the cards.

“Order of mandamus is hereby issued compelling the government to conduct a data protection impact assessment in accordance with section 31 of the Data Protection Act before processing of data and rolling out the Huduma cards,” Judge Ngaah ordered.

Katiba Institute moved to court last year challenging the decision by the state to roll out Huduma Namba cards without carrying out the data protection impact assessment.

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