Only 10 per cent of huduma cards issued have been collected by their owners, the government has said.
Despite plans to phase out the national identity cards and replace them with the huduma cards, 1.3 million Kenyans whose cards are ready and had been notified have not collected the cards.
A text message from the Huduma Namba department alerts anyone who registered two years ago that their card is ready for collection. A link gives the receiver of the message an option to select their preferred pick up location.
My choice directs me to Nyayo house where my huduma card should be. The area is deserted, a far cry from the long queues witnessed at the end of mass registration exercise in 2019.
After confirming my identity, the huduma card is handed to me. I confirm my details and the card is activated.
It’s been slightly over a month since I received a message stating that my huduma card is ready for collection at my preferred location.
It took me less than five minutes to get it. But I cannot dispose my ID card just yet as the user points have not been activated. The collection book I have to sign shows the uptake of the card is less than impressive.
“Only 10 per cent of the cards that have been sent out have been collected…which is about 200,000,” said Government Spokesman Col. Cyrus Oguna.
Pendo Malai, the principal registrar of persons in Starehe constituency attributes the low uptake to limited information on the huduma number card amongst registered users.
Pendo Malai, Principal Registrar of Persons in Starehe constituency attributes the low uptake to limited information on the huduma card amongst registered users.
“I believe the issue could be that the information has reached but one is sceptical over the message received…one is not sure whether it is from a credible source,” said Ms. Malai.
While the distribution continues, a look at the number of cards received vis a vis those collected at various huduma centres paints a discouraging picture; so far 850 bureaus have received the huduma cards across the 47 counties.
At the GPO huduma centre, out of 1,987 cards received, only 693 have been picked up by their owners, leaving 1,294 uncollected…