Huduma Namba State of the Nation Uhuru Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta.

At the 11th hour, President Uhuru Kenyatta has stepped in to guarantee that the mass registration for the Huduma Namba, accompanied by the long queues, is set to continue for another week.

With Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i having revealed on May 13 that the mass registration deadline would not be extended, the last day seemed cast in stone as May 18.

But hours to the d-day, President Kenyatta chimed in, directing that the registration continue for another seven days. Huduma Namba mass registration will therefore effectively close on Saturday, May 25, at 6pm.

President Kenyatta did not miss rebuking Kenyans for a culture of last minute rushes in his statement.

“I have observed with concern the long queues formed during these final days of the exercise in different parts of the country. It brings to the fore an ingrained last-minute rush habit that holds us back,” said President Kenyatta.

The head of state also said that Kenyans ought not to wait until the last day and should take advantage of the extension.

Diaspora registration, which is being carried out at Kenya’s mission stations globally, is still set to conclude on June 20.

The Huduma Namba registration has caused much debate, with an air of the state ‘forcing’ citizens to apply for the service receiving backlash.

On Friday, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) added their voice, saying the registration was not mandatory and that the government should not threaten citizens with denial of state services due to failure to acquire the number.

Another threat that had seemingly been issued was that failure to register may result in the blocking of SIM cards.

CS Matiang’i, in his brief on May 13 said that 31 million Kenyans had already enrolled for the Huduma Namba.

His stern warning that the deadline would not be extended led to swaths of people swarming Huduma Namba registration stations.

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