Uhuru's Huduma Namba in limbo after court nullified laws
Oct. 29, 2020
•The court has however suspended orders nullifying the laws for nine months. •The nullification comes at a time when Kenyans are waiting to receive the Huduma Namba cards after the President and the First Lady became the first to be issued with cards during Mashujaa Day celebrations at Gusii Stadium in Kisii county.
President Uhuru Kenyatta commissions the issuance of Huduma Namba Cards during Mashujaa Day celebrations at Gusii Stadium in Kisii County. Image: PSCU
The High Court’s ruling on Thursday to nullify 23 bills that were passed by the National Assembly without involving the Senate could cause a potential hitch for President Uhuru Kenyatta. Among the bills affected is the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act, 2018 (No. 18 of 2018). Among the laws amended under this Act is the Registration of Persons Act that provided for the establishment of the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) popularly known as Huduma Namba. On the Registration of Persons Act, the Parliament had introduced new definitions in proper alphabetical sequence and made a number of changes. The court has however suspended orders nullifying the laws for nine months. The nullification comes at a time when Kenyans are waiting to receive the Huduma Namba cards after the President and the First Lady became the first to be issued with cards during Mashujaa Day celebrations at Gusii Stadium in Kisii county. The president had urged the National Assembly to conclude work and clear the Data Commissioner appointee, whose office will be tasked with the enforcement of the Data Protection Act and exercise oversight on data processing operations, among other roles. “It is now up to the National Assembly to conclude their work so that Kenyans can also enjoy government services through the Huduma Namba card,” Uhuru said. Interior CS Fred Matiang’i had said that the government is ready to roll out the cards. Meanwhile, the Finance Act, 10 of 2018 that amended several laws relating to various taxes and duties was also suspended. The Act contained provisions relating to the Income Tax Act, the Stamp Duty Act, and the Value Added Tax Act. Under the Act, winnings were defined as a positive difference between payouts made and stakes-placed in a given month, for each player payable to punters by bookmakers licensed. The Equalisation Fund Appropriation Act 2018 is also suspended as well as the Appropriations Act, No. 7 of 2018 assented to in June 2018. While suspending the bills, the three-judge bench ruled that the Speaker of the National Assembly had failed to involve the Senate. Justices Jairus Ngaah, Antony Ndungu, and Teresiah Matheka unanimously ruled that one speaker cannot unilaterally make a decision on whether a bill does or does not concern counties.
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