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Limited manpower hindering Wakiso ID issuance

By Andrew Ssenyonga, Cecilia Okoth

Added 12th January 2016 10:48 AM

The district returning officer said over 160,000 people in the district had not yet picked their cards

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Wakiso resident receiving their national identity cards at the district headquarters. Photo Racheal Nassuuna

The district returning officer said over 160,000 people in the district had not yet picked their cards

Lack of manpower has been a major hindrance in the issuance of National Identification cards (IDs) in Wakiso district, an official has said.

When New Vision visited the district headquarters, many people were seen making long queues in order to get their IDs but only two issuance officers were present at the distribution exercise.

Sarah Bukirwa, the district returning officer said over 160,000 people in the district had not yet picked their cards since the distribution commenced.

She said much as they had been given 20 kits (computers), only two people were operating them.

"With more man power, we have the capacity to issue up to 1000 national IDs in a day but we cannot reach this target due to limited work force," she said.

Ordinarily, each kit is supposed to be handled by one person.


Residents speak out

"This is a very vast district with a population of over 10 million, how can only two people handle us," Yasin Mugerwa a resident of Gayaza village in Nangabo sub county wondered.

Christine Mudondo a resident of Entebbe municipality said she visited the distribution center a number of times but failed to get her ID.

"This is the fourth time, am coming to check for my ID but the officers keep telling me to come back" she said.

Eddie Mwebaze a resident of Bweyogerere in Kira Municipality said by the time the cards were being issued, he was in school.

Another Francis Lwanga, a trader in Nansana Municipality said given his nature of work out of the country and the long queues at the distribution centre, he has never found time to pick his ID.

With only six weeks remaining to the February 18 elections, a total of 160,000 people in Wakiso have not yet to pick their IDs.

Bukirwa said the National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA) sent printed out IDs but failed to send corresponding data of the IDs which she blamed on the slow pace of the exercise.

But according to Col. Stephen Kwiringira the in-charge, Operation and Security at NIRA, Wakiso just like other districts was faced with challenges of errors and citizenship verification. "The people we recruited to work as ID issuance officers did not do a good job."

Kwiringira said out of the 15.8m cards disbursed, only 13.3m have so far been issued. As of November last year, a total of 2.5m cards remain uncollected and of these, over 200,000 belong to Wakiso district residents.

The authority had printed a total of 16.4m cards. A total of 5,686 cards contained errors and are being reprinted while others are still in the warehouse. 

While appearing before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee chaired by Fox Odoi in November last year, Kwiringira expressed hope that by the end of the year (2015), all voters will have received their cards.

Last week, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Rose Akol told parliament that 16 million Ugandans had received their National IDs and those who had not picked them up are mainly in Kampala and Wakiso.

"Initially, the identity cards were being distributed at parish level but the process is now being carried out at the district. We shall look into cases of those whose identity cards had errors so that they can pick them from convenient locations," Akol said.

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