Why the new IDs have nothing to do with security

As is becoming rather regular with our government, roadside or podium side declarations are the order of the day with no clear or predictable policy direction. The latest one is the decision to issue everyone with a new ID card.

Every one is to get a new fangled ID with your full biometric features along with NHIF,NSSF,PIN no. and possibly your MPESA no.

Ofcourse the last bit is less emphasized and the need to get on top of the security situation is the most publicized trait. This is all well and good but they plan on using the birth certificate to prove citizenship or as the base document to prove your claim as a son/daughter of the soil. The same document used for the old IDs. Not too sure what is supposed to change.

English: Kenyan passport
English: Kenyan passport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now kids as old as 12yrs of age will be given IDs. I still don’t know why this is necessary but I trust there are very smart bureaucrats and this requirement is somehow security related.

Either way I doubt the drive to get new fangled IDs with supposed full proof Biometric details is based on security threats. Alshabab do not need IDs to throw grenades. And as far as I can tell they have my face and fingerprints already. Infact since I lost my ID and had to get a replacement, they have a another full set. I have full faith in the record keeping abilities of the authorities and am sure they have even Mzee Kenyattas prints, along with all the other Random Mau Mau guys who got booked by the British.

So the story that they need to beef up their bio-metric records is hogwash unless they want to start collecting DNA samples. So whats the point you ask? Well as I always say, follow the money. Having your bio-metrics tied to your NHIF, KRA etc makes it damn easy to push new taxes on you and to milk you properly in the event that you have somehow been forgetting to fill your income tax forms. Of course they can tie your ID to all these systems already but we all know how lazy our dear government is. They would rather create a whole new system as opposed to trying to make the existing ones talk. Like the President wanting us to report directly to him whenever we see corruption. Report to the President not the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission. You cant make this stuff up.

So Serikali wants to track you properly or rather track your transactions properly. more control of your accounts= more revenue for KRA = more money to buy jets to bomb the Alshabab = increased brownie points with the public = reelection for incumbent = more looting by political types = more taxes to close the deficit. Get where am going with this?

Am rather sad though that my new shiny ID is going to have such a short life. I wonder who gets these contracts for printing IDs. I never see any advertisements.

Do you?

 

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Costs: Assumed and Actual

Save for people living in the DRC I think most of humanity is in problems of their own creation. We have all the technology to feed, clothe and educate everyone down to the last dusty kid in Somalia but we don’t. We don’t even have to go far to see the precipitation of this. Turkana has been ignored since before independence with ignorant politicos seeing zero benefit in investing in the region or trying to up their living standards. Now we know they have more water and oil the the rest of us.

The cost of ignoring the area is the resentment that has built up over the years. The only reason they do not proclaim Turkana si Kenya is because they are too hungry to make such political statements. Maslows Hierarchy. Food first, politics later.

We are notorious at misjudging what true costs are and what we assume are costs but aren’t really. This came to roost a couple of weekends ago when i was hell bent on attending like 5 different events on the same evening. All involved close friends or relatives and I could just see how I would make technical appearances at 4 of them and part the rest of the night away at the last place.

Of Course the problem with technical appearances is that everybody present recognizes the temporary forced nature of your stopover. I doubt anybody wants people at their party that feel they were forced to come and that they have better places to be. Its rarely worth it. Its better to just leave an apology that you can’t make it and go wherever you wanted to go anyway.

Anyhoo, my plan sorta worked though with hefty costs on my part. In the rushes involved some involving passing through Westlands Electric Avenue, there was car prangin, lotsa wasted time and foul moods allover the place. A Lot of money (according to my thin wallet) was wasted in an attempt to have maximum fun.

It is rather hilarious how we sometimes do not follow our own advice. I have always been against bar, club or party hopping. Most of the time is spent on the road, looking for parking or sorting bills so as to move to the next venue. Stick to one joint, have fun with friends and when the time comes call it a night.

The cost that I assumed was that I would miss out on parties were my good friends were having a blast. You could say this was a social cost. The actual cost was fuel burnt, time wasted, car slightly damaged and not enough meaningful time at either party to bond or interact. There will always be more places you are needed than you can go to.

The same skewed judgement is applicable in our lives with assumptions as to the true costs of decisions not being accurate.

A friend once told me the difference between a CEO of a company and the sweeper in the same company is the quality of the decisions made. Its about knowing what an actual cost is and to be able to quantify it and act. Most of the costs we incur are unnecessary, be it sustaining habits, propping up excuses or refusing to move on from acidic friendships, relationships, business or relations.

Recognizing costs is as important as acting to counteract it.

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