The government has clarified that the Huduma Namba listing will not be disrupted despite the National Assembly voting to debar the French firm that is providing the infrastructure from operating in Kenya.
The MPs want Idemia Securities Limited, which was awarded the Sh6 billion tender, blocked for at least 10 years, citing a violation of the Companies Act and interference in the last two general elections.
MPs amended the report of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the audited accounts of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and voted to have the firm held accountable for irregular payments it received in the 2017 General Election.
But the ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said on Thursday that the registration exercise will go on because the core registration software of the National Information Integrated Management System (NIIMS) was designed and integrated by local software engineers.
NO EXISTING CONTRACT
“The ICT Ministry wishes to clarify that the ongoing Huduma Namba registration process will not be disrupted by the decision of National Assembly. We encourage all Kenyans and foreign nationals residing in the country to present themselves for Huduma Namba biometric registration at their nearest centre,” Mr Mucheru said.
He added that the only hardware component supplied by the firm are the 35,000 Morpho Tablet 2 data capture kits.
“The kits were acquired on an outright purchase basis, and as such there’s no existing contract beyond this. Therefore, the directions by the National Assembly do not affect Huduma Namba in any way,” he said.
In its findings, the PAC, chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, found the French firm to have operated in the country illegally as it was not registered when it went into business with the government, contrary to the companies law.
15 MILLION KENYANS
According to the Companies Act, a foreign company should not do business in the country before it is registered by the Registrar of Companies. And local shareholding must be at least 30 per cent.
The companies law further provides that a foreign company should have at least a representative in the country.
But the management of Idemia admitted to the House team that the firm did not have a local representative after the committee served the head office in France.
Huduma Namba is a programme of the government that seeks to create and manage a central master bio-data register by capturing the biometric data of all citizens and foreigners’ resident in Kenya for enhanced access service delivery.
The government says more than 15 million Kenyans have been registered on the Huduma Namba database.