The government is in the final stages of phasing out all current identity cards to replace them with a digital, updated identity system which will carry an individual’s full information in a single card called Maisha Card, Immigration Principal Secretary Julius Bitok has said.
This is according to the National Digital Identity Technical Committee tasked with charting the course towards implementing a June 30, 2023 presidential directive to digitize citizen identification dubbed Unique Personal Identifier (UPI), otherwise known as Maisha Number.
PS Bitok on Tuesday led a team of Principal Secretaries to approve the digitization process and said the UPI will be issued to all citizens at birth.
He told the media in Nairobi that the Government will spend Sh1 billion to implement the third generation Maisha Card whose information will be taken from what he termed the National Master Population Register.
“The National Master Population Register contains information of all people born in Kenya from Civil Registration, all people living in Kenya from the National Registration Bureau, all persons who have immigrated to Kenya from the Immigration Database, and all refugees living in Kenya.” Bitok said.
“So it is a master population register that is able to speak to each other and which is integrated well to the extent that whenever someone applies for a passport, the system should be able to confirm that the person has an ID, a birth certificate so that the system is seamless and we are able to have accuracy in our identity management system.”
The Maisha Number (UPI) to be issued at birth will be a person’s birth certificate, school identification number, ID number when they turn 18, university identification number, their PIN for KRA. It will be their number all through their lifetime until when they die, it becomes their death certificate number, that’s why it is called Maisha Number, a lifetime number from birth to death, explained Bitok.
President William Ruto is expected to launch the UPI on September 29, 2023.