The Department of the Registrar of Persons in Murang’a County is leading the public participation and sensitization of residents in the county on the intended issuance of maisha namba and maisha cards.
County Registrar Joseph Ndung’u speaking during a public forum at Mukuyu market in Murang’a East explained that Maisha Namba, which is a Unique Personal Identifier (UPI), shall be assigned to every Kenyan citizen upon registration, typically at birth.
“Beginning from October 2023, at birth, every child born in Kenya will be assigned a ‘Maisha Namba’ marking the beginning of a revolutionary change in the registration of persons in the country,” Ndung’u said.
“This number will be a lifelong personal identity number from birth to death; It is the birth certificate number, it will be used to register the child into school and it will also be the child’s Maisha card number when they attain the age of 18 years and so on,” he added.
Ndung’u also explained that any adults applying for new identity cards at the age of 18 would henceforth be issued with a Maisha card which is an upgrade from the second generation identity cards currently in use.
“These will be the first beneficiaries of the digital ID which will consolidate personal data for efficient service delivery when seeking government services,” Ndung’u said.
He stated that these changes in registration of persons have been necessitated by the global changing registration standards hence the need for an upgrade that conforms to global requirements.
“Any citizen seeking replacement of lost identity cards will be issued with the third generation Maisha card,” he said.
“The rest of the citizens who are holders of the 2nd generation identity cards will eventually also be provided with an option of acquiring the digital identity card,” he added.
He assured Kenyans that although they would all be eventually required to change to Maisha card, there was no need to panic as the old identity cards would continue being in use until the owner acquires a Maisha card.
The public sensitization and participation exercise has been engaging representatives from civil societies, the private sector, religious leaders and development partners and is an ongoing exercise that will continue even after the official launch.
The new digital registration system includes a Maisha Namba, Maisha Card and a National Master Registration database, and will be officially launched on Monday, October 2, 2023.
By Purity Mugo and Natalie Ouko