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Maisha Namba issuance to resume as Kenyan High Court lifts injunction

Maisha Namba issuance to resume as Kenyan High Court lifts injunction

Kenya will resume printing national ID cards, the government announced after the country’s high court lifted an injunction against the new Maisha Namba digital ID system.

Friday’s decision allows Kenyan authorities to address a backlog of 600,000 applications for new or replacement IDs, Citizen Digital reports.

Immigration Principal Secretary Julius Bitok thanked Kenyans for their patience with the process and says his agency is committed to expediting the digital ID issuance process.

High Court Judge John Chigiti ruled that Maisha Card printing could resume, but also ordered the complaint by Katiba Institute to be heard by the court’s constitutional human rights division. The State Department of Immigration & Citizen Services had requested the injunction be lifted on the grounds that the Katiba Institute failed to disclose that a similar complaint had been filed in a different venue, raising the risk of contradictory rulings, according to The Star.

The complaint with the constitutional court was filed by a Dr. Fredrick Onyango.

The Maisha Namba rollout was blocked in December when the High Court ruled that without a data protection impact assessment it does not comply with Kenya’s Data Protection Act.

The ID card includes an electronic chip storing the bearer’s biometric and biographic data, and is intended to be used for access to a wide variety of public services.

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