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Thousands flock to Kololo, Mao to fight SIM-card registration

FILE PHOTO: Registration in the Masindi region in 2015. Thousands have flocked Kololo as deadline for sim card registration nears.

Thousands flock NIRA for National Identity cards to beat Thursday simcard registration deadline

The National Identification and Registration Authority ( NIRA) has said they will not rush their citizen verification process to cater for the sudden rush by Ugandans to register before the SIM-card verification deadline. NIRA have even tightened the requirements to check likely loopholes.

The NIRA headquarters at the Kololo Independence Grounds was on Tuesday a bee hive of activity with those seeking to get new Identification documents (IDs). Subscribers are scrambling to beat the Thursday deadline by the Uganda Communications Commission that will have all SIM-cards without synchronized National ID particulars disconnected.

Public Relations and Corporate Affairs Manager, Gilbert Kadilo said despite the long queues, NIRA will not seek reinforcements in terms of human personnel saying majority of the Ugandans who qualify for National IDs received them.

“I want to emphasize that NIRA is not going to make any extraordinary arrangements outside our current operation framework for purposes of SIM-card verification,” said Kadilo.

He however noted that those who fail to beat the Thursday deadline by UCC will still have their disconnected SIM-cards re-activated as soon they get their IDs or National Identification Numbers.

“Those that genuinely registered for national IDs and haven’t received them yet, can request for the national identification number as they wait for their National IDs. However, persons who applied yesterday, today and those who will apply tomorrow should not expect to get ID numbers immediately. We cannot compromise our process because of the validation exercise,” said Kadilo.

“I only want to reassure those who may miss the deadline for verification, if you receive your National Identification Number, you will be in position to use the information to reactivate your number”, said Kadilo.

Tighter security now at NIR

Kadilo also revealed that they have tightened the requirements for fresh applicants for National IDs which among other things require the applicant to seek the signature of the Gombolola Internal Security officer ( GIS0).

He said a letter signed by the LC1 chairperson with an attachment of either of one’s parents’ ID shall be taken to the sub-county for the GISO for counter endorsement.

“The Local council 1 (LC1) chairperson has to certify and his National identification number must be included on the letter because we now want to work backwards where we suspect that the information provided to us in citizenship is incorrect.”

He stated that those whose parents are deceased shall be required to present IDs of next of kin who must be older than the applicant.

According to Kadilo, NIRA has produced 16,815,976 ID cards all together including cards from the mass registration exercise and subsequently when NIRA embarked on continuous registration.

He said 14,000,531 cards have been issued to their owners whereas 1,543,931 cards haven’t yet been collected by the owners as of last week.

DP to join concerned citizens on today’s UCC case

The opposition Democratic Party revealed that it is going to apply to join a group of concerned Citizens in a case challenging a directive  by the Uganda Communications Commission on SIM-card registration using the National Identification Card.

One of the founders of the pressure group, The Jobless Brotherhood together with Rights Trumped Ltd, dragged Uganda Communication Commission arguing that the time frame issued by UCC is inadequate to cover the millions of Ugandans who use mobile phones.

They also challenged UCC’s decision to restrict Ugandans to only use National IDs as the official identification document for this exercise and deny them the right to use their passports and other official documents issued by the Uganda Government.

Addressing a press conference at the DP Headquarters on Tuesday, Party President Norbert Mao said the other forms of identification like the passport and driving permit should be allowed in this exercise.

“The National ID is not the only form of identification. There are drivers’ licenses, there are passports.  Dp is going to apply to join the case by concerned citizens on a single ground that it is unconstitutional and has no legal basis,”said Mao.

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One comment

  1. Godfrey Mutabazi, the Uganda Communications Commission executive director,
    Has to be the first Person in the world to Declare Passports invalid as a tool for Identification.
    Sad ..going back to the Stone Age ,

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