RE: DELIBERATE DELAYS IN THE HUDUMA NAMBA APPEAL CASE.

Open letter to the president of the Court of Appeal and registrar of the Court of Appeal.

June 11, 2021

 

Dear Justice Daniel Musinga,

We, the undersigned organizations, are deeply concerned by the Court’s delay in issuing directions on the NIIMS Appeal case.

In 2019, through the Ministry of Interior Co-ordination and the Ministry of Information Communications and Technology, the government of Kenya launched the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS), commonly known as Huduma Namba (Service Number). The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and the Nubian Rights Forum (NRF) challenged the implementation of NIIMS in Court, citing exclusion, inadequate data protection laws and lack of public participation, among others.  On January 30 2020, the High Court issued orders that NIIMS lacked the appropriate and comprehensive regulatory framework that applies to the constitutional requirements.

In monitoring adherence to the judgement issued, we note that the government has rolled out the mass issuance of Huduma Namba cards and announced plans to phase out the national identification cards by the end of 2021. However, The government is yet to implement a regulatory framework compliant with the court orders. Therefore, ongoing plans for mass issuance and registration violate the orders issued in January 2020.

In February 2020, We filed for appeal at the Court of Appeal, and due to the sensitive nature of NIIMS and as a matter of public interest,this was filed under a certificate of urgency. However, we observe that more than a year later, the Court of Appeal is yet to give direction on the matter. While other similar cases, such as the BBI appeal, have been expedited within days of filling, the NIIMS appeal is of no less public importance as a matter of public interest. This suggests a deliberate and discriminatory approach in prioritizing the NIIMS appeal.

In view of the foregoing, we demand that;

1.     The Judiciary and the Court of Appeal in particular appreciate and apply the right to equal protection before the law without any discrimination as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya and International Human Rights instruments.

2.  The Government of Kenya suspends further implementation of NIIMS until it complies with all the orders issued by the High Court.

 

Yours sincerely:

Nubian Rights Forum(NRF)

Kenya Human Rights Commission(KHRC)