No Kenyan will be forced to take up Maisha Card, this is according to Immigration and Citizen Services PS Julius Bitok.
PS Bitok says that the current IDs will continue to be recognised as valid identification document alongside the new card.
Speaking during the World ID Day on Saturday, September 16, PS Bitok, however, said that the new card will include superior security and technology features.
Unlike the current IDs, Maisha Card will also support a digital ID mode of identification.
“The current ID number will transit to Maisha Namba. All newborns and those registering for IDs for the first time will be issued with a lifetime Maisha Namba that will be the registration number for school, NHIF, KRA and other government services,” PS Bitok said.
‘Maisha Card will not burden Kenyans’
He also allayed fears that the new ID that is being introduced to comply with international standards of identification will burden Kenyans, insisting that existing ID holders will not be subjected to fresh registration for biometrics.
“We want to make the transition as seamless and convenient as possible. We foresee 3-5 years phase out of current IDs. But we are confident many Kenyans will embrace Maisha Card because of the benefits it will give them.”
According to PS Bitok, the system will also have an optional Digital ID, which will be a digital version of one national ID; available online and recognised as valid proof of identity.
Kenya is a member of the East Africa Common Market Protocol that promotes electronic national ID cards conforming to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards for travel documents.
“The government is fully committed to ensuring that Maisha Namba and the Digital Identity project align with the highest standards of inclusivity, transparency, and adherence to the law,” the PS assured.