Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has slammed people criticising his party leader Raila Odinga over his decision to support the ongoing Huduma Namba registration.
Mr Joho Tuesday said he wondered why people think that everything being done by the government should be opposed.
“I have seen people focusing on Mr Odinga [and asking] why he has put a billboard showing that he is in support of this exercise. I am saying we need more of those billboards. We are not supposed to be objecting to everything,” said Mr Joho.
The billboard, whose pictures have gone viral, has an image of Mr Odinga and a caption reading: “Nimejisajili… Je wewe? (I have registered myself, what about you?)
Mr Joho, previously a fierce Jubilee critic, said the National Integrated Identity Management System (Niims) is a noble idea initiated by the President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.
“As your governor I support this process and I urge all of you to back it,” said Mr Joho.
The governor told the residents that he is among leaders best placed to know whenever there is mischief or not in any project being done.
“But on this one, you have my word, hakuna noma hapa (there is no problem here),” he added.
He said Kenyans have had a habit of opposing any project initiated by the government without first doing a thorough assessment.
The Mombasa county boss said for the citizens to hold the government to account they must be known to it.
“You cannot hold a government to account if it does not know who you are. Those peddling lies about this project are busy bodies and we should not allow them to lie to us,” he said.
Mr Joho said the registration should have been done a long time ago and objecting to it is making Kenya to lag behind in matters technology.
“Kenya is not an Island and it cannot live in isolation. We must move forward like the developed countries. Those saying that their information will be known once they give out their details should know that if the government wants to know about them they cannot stop it,” he said.
Mr Joho was accompanied by MPs Abdulswamad Nassir (Mvita), Mishi Mboko (Likoni) and Mombasa Woman Rep Asha Hussein.
Also present was County Commissioner Evans Achoki among other leaders.
Ms Mboko said it is the duty of the government to assure citizens that their data will be safeguarded once they register.
“We know that it is of advantage to our people but that assurance is what we need because vital information is being taken from them,” said Ms Mboko.
She said the Huduma Namba will reduce bureaucracy in government offices when citizens go to seek services.
Mr Achoki said the registration will help deal with cases of insecurity in the region and urged people to go out in large numbers to register.