By Innocent Anguyo and Steven Candia
Pregnant women and the elderly considered too frail to trek to the enrollment centres for the national identity card (ID) will be registered from their homes, according to Internal Affairs minister Gen. Aronda Nyakairima.
Aronda made the announcement on Saturday at a public ceremony at the Kololo Independence Grounds where he also announced that the ID registration process will be shifting from mass enrollment to continuous registration, effectively bringing the registration exercise at the parish levels throughout the country to an end today Monday.
With continuous registration the exercise will now be carried out at Sub County levels throughout the country and that is where anyone who has not registered to date should now register.
Speaking at the function attended by top government officials, Aronda said the elderly and women in advanced pregnancy who may have missed out on registration under the mass registration will be given special consideration, but added that they are yet to agree on the threshold of determining who an elderly person is.
“Perhaps 70 years onwards,” he said. Also to receive special consideration under the arrangement will be people with disabilities (PWDs) who may find it hard to access registration centres.
However, not all the elderly, PWDs and pregnant women will be registered at home because Aronda said beneficiaries would be selected by the sub county verification committees.
“These people will be carefully identified and the machines will be taken to their homes,” reiterated Aronda.
Speaking at the same function, Haji Abdul Nsubuga, the Project Manager of the National Information Security Strategy said 14.1m Ugandans had by Saturday registered at parish level, translating into a 77 percent success rate, leaving a balance of 3.9m unregistered Ugandans.
“We hope to register the remaining 3.9m people during the continuous registration exercise at the Sub Counties,” he said.
The six months continuous registration exercise will run from August 12 to February 27, 2014, she said. Government had projected to register 18m Ugandans aged 16 years and above for the national ID.
Betty Nansenja, the National ID deputy project manager gave a detailed account project, stressing that it will be run on a very strict schedule of time, given that cost implications and the time lines earlier agreed upon.
“We are now continuing with phase two of the exercise” she said adding that a committee had been set up to handle the naturalization exercise of some communities. “It is now in Kiryandongo and will move to Arua and Soroti and Amuria,” she said.
Government, she noted, will start issuance of the national IDs in September “This will be on a very small scale though mass issuance will be later but at Parish level,” Nansenja said.
However, Aronda noted that though they were moving from the Parish to the Sub Counties, the transition will be in a gradual, maintaining a very lean presence at the parish levels.
The minister ordered the registration officials to exploit the ongoing school holiday to enroll students before they return for third term. Only, students aged over 16 will be registered.
IDs may be used for voting. Making account of the performance of mass enrollment across Uganda, Aronda said 36 districts had registered 80 percent success; 36 had achieved between 70 percent to 79 percent enrolment; 34 had registered between 50 percent and 69 percent of residents; and 11 had enrolled below 50 percent of their populace.