The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has threatened to block all SIM cards of Kenyans who will not have acquired Huduma Namba once the exercise is completed.
The authority’s Director-General Francis Wangusi said Thursday the Huduma identity cards will now be used as the official government identification number that will replace the current National IDs which Kenyans used to register their SIM cards.
“Once the 45-day registration exercise is over, we shall engage mobile operators on the process to switch off the SIM cards,” Mr Wangusi said in an interview with the Nation.
But State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita contradicted Mr Wangusi saying no such directive has been issued.
Mr Waita in a post on Twitter said: "For the avoidance of doubt Huduma Number Registration is a voluntary exercise in compliance with the ruling of the Courts. There is no directive from the Government to institute any punitive measures against those who don’t register. More emphasis will be laid on civic education!"
The digital listing programme was launched earlier this month by President Uhuru Kenyatta but the government was barred by the High Court from forcing Kenyans to register.
The High Court also barred the government from using the data to withhold any services or bar anyone from accessing public facilities.
In addition, the government cannot also share the collected information with international bodies.
Additional reporting by Donna Atola.