By Vision Reporter
Foreigners will have to wait a little longer for their National identity cards (IDs) because they lack proof of citizenship and identification.
Marcellino Bwesigye, the manager of the National ID project, said: “Not everyone who is registered will get an identity card. Apart from showing face, one needs to carry legal documents like birth, education, marriage, health certificates, voter’s card and a passport to prove that you are a citizen of Uganda.”
He denied accusations that his office had allegedly deprived non-indigenous Ugandans the right to National identity cards. “All we need is legal documents to sort out the citizenship problem. It will also help us to find out the number of immigrants in the country,” Bwesigye added
In Mengo and Kisenyi suburbs, many non-indigenous Ugandans yesterday expressed disappointment when officials at the distribution centres demanded proof showing that they were registered Ugandans.
This group included Salim Uhuru, the NRM chairman of Kampala district and councillor of Kisenyi, who has since described the development as discrimination.
“When I reached the distribution table, I was told that I was not supposed to get the identity card. My name and photograph were in the register, but were marked ‘non-citizen’. I also noticed that this was the same case with every other person who was light skinned. This smells of discrimination of fellow countrymen on grounds of their skin colour,” he said.
“My parents were born in Uganda and so was I. I am a councillor and I am on the Buganda board. Why should I be identified as a non-citizen? It is not fair for immigration officials to treat people with different skin colour as non-Ugandans,” Uhuru said.
Salim Abdul Karim, a resident of Muzaana zone in Kisenyi III parish, said: “In 2010, we were asked to register for the 2011 general elections. How come I voted then, but now my data is missing? What criteria do they use? I have a national voters’ card,” Karim said.
The distribution exercise, which started with Kampala last month, will be extended to several other pilot districts.
Compiled by Carol Kasujja, Vivian Agaba and Andrew Ssenyonga