High Court Declares Huduma Namba Roll Out Illegal
The High Court has today, October 14, 2021, declared the Huduma Namba invalid after determining that the law was not followed in its rollout.
“An order is hereby issued to bring into this honourable court to quash the government decision of November 18 2020 to roll out Huduma cards for being ultra vires of the data protection act 2019,” the court ruled.
Justice Jairus Ngaah stated that the government failed to conduct data impact assessment, , contravening the Data Protection Act.
According to section 31 of the Data Protection Act, data processing should be preceded by a data protection impact assessment to assess any data processing risks so that they can be mitigated.
Since the government failed to observe the above law, Justice Ngaah, ordered that it creates firewalls to protect Kenyan’s data as the cards have already been rolled out.
“Order of mandamus is hereby issued compelling the government to conduct a data protection impact assessment in accordance with section 31 of the Data Protection Act before processing of data and rolling out the Huduma cards,” Judge Ngaah ordered.
He further ruled that a petition seeking to halt the rollout of the cards is of no use as the government had already initiated the process.
In the case, Katiba Institute had moved to court to halt the roll out process, arguing that there is no data protection impact assessment as per Section 31 of the Data Protection Act, 2019.
They petitioned that by rolling out the cards, the government subverted a ruling issued by the court early last year.
“The Data Protection Act rights to privacy were guaranteed the moment the constitution was promulgated,” they argued.
The government objected arguing that the stipulated Act does not apply to the case before the court.