Government has received a major boost after Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics (CICC) pledged to launch a grassroots campaign to urge people to register for the Huduma Namba.
The CICC is an influential religious organisation that brings together religious leaders from Muslim and several Christian denominations in the coastal region.
Speaking in Voi after holding a closed door meeting on Wednesday, Maalim Abdalla, representative of Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) in Taita-Taveta County, said all religious leaders had decided to back the Huduma Namba initiative after they learnt it was meant to assist the public in getting better government services.
He clarified that the National Identity Integrated Management System (NIIMS) was not associated with satanic rites and urged everybody to register.
“There is nothing sinister with this number. We are supporting the government on this activity and encourage all people to register,” he said.
Part of the campaign includes packaging and disseminating the message to churches and mosques to dispel the unfounded fears the process had ulterior motives associated with demonic activities.
Bishop Michael Nyangala of Revival Assemblies in Kenya and CICC chair for Voi sub-county, said religious leaders opposed to the registration exercise were misinterpreting the reading in the bible.
Rev. Nyangala asked them to seek divine help and added that the church had an obligation to support programs that enhance better services to the local people.
He asked leaders with radical stances over the Huduma Namba to take time to read the bible even as he warned the public against being misled by misguided preachers who had their own personal agendas.
“These people are misleading the public which is wrong. Luckily, they are few and their message will not be received as we will preach and urge all people to support Huduma Namba,” he said.
Since the launch of NIIMS program, the government has had to contend with allegations that the Huduma Namba is associated with the end times.
On Saturday, the police in Malindi arrested televangelist pastor Paul Mackenzie over a spirited campaign urging the public against taking the Huduma Namba, saying taking the number was akin to selling one’s soul to the devil.
Bishop Nyangala said such sermons were detrimental to the welfare of the public because it would make ordinary citizens suffer afterwards.
“It is those ordinary people who will be denied services and not leaders who are preaching against the number,” he said.
The meeting was attended by religious leaders from the four sub-counties in the region.
By Wagema Mwangi