Government’s Unique Personal Identifier Challenged in Court

June 15, 2023

A petition has been submitted in court challenging the implementation of the Unique Personal Identifier (UPI) system, which intends to provide newborns in Kenya with a unique and lifelong registration number.

Operation Linda Jamii, in court documents, asserts that the government’s actions violate the constitution and claims that there was a lack of public participation in the decision to introduce the UPI.

“Unique Personal Identifier known as Digital ID is yet to be rolled out and the taxpayers’ money is to be used in driving the implementation of this project which has not undergone public participation,” reads court papers.

The petitioners are requesting the court to issue an injunction to prevent the government from taking any further steps or conducting any processes related to the rollout of the Digital ID.

They argue that the government had already allocated Sh.11 billion to the Huduma Namba project, which they contend is a more secure alternative.

Operation Linda Jamii wants government to utilize and expand upon the existing infrastructure established through the implementation of Huduma Namba. They propose that instead of introducing a separate Unique Personal Identifier system, the government should leverage the already established framework to address the objectives and concerns related to individual identification.

“We are grappling with a high cost of living and tough economic times and it makes no sense for the President to waste taxpayers’ money on a new digital ID project when the Huduma Namba exists,” says the lobby group.

Operation Linda Jamii is also seeking a permanent injunction from the court, which would prevent the respondents from hosting the servers of the Huduma Namba project or any other projects in foreign countries.

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