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Post by sol_drethedon Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:06 pm

National ID registration compulsory

THE Government is to enact a law and policies making it mandatory for Ugandan citizens to register to get the national identity cards (IDs).

Also planned to be compulsory is the registration of any changes to one’s particulars including change of residence or names, within a period of three months after the change.

These are part of the proposals tabled by the internal affairs ministry as it plans to rollout mass enrolment of citizens next month.

Addressing a sensitisation workshop for stakeholders, Abdul Nsubuga, the head of the mass enrolment secretariat, said national IDs will reduce crime trough quick and reliable identification of criminals.

Other benefits include proper planning and easy access to social services among others.

Nsubuga made the remarks this afternoon during a sensitisation workshop for local council leaders, security officials and other internal affairs ministry staff who will man the exercise in Kampala and neighbouring districts. The day-long workshop was held at Hotel Africana, Kampala.

The state minister for fisheries, Ruth Nankabirwa, who is heading the registration exercise in Kampala, supported the idea of making registration and acquisition of a national ID compulsory.

“Nothing will stop us from going on with the registration. As time goes on we will amend the laws to make it mandatory for every citizen to have a national ID,” Nankabirwa said. “This has to be compulsory for security and economic reasons as well as for smooth regional (EAC) integration purposes.”

The first phase of the mass enrolment exercise is targeting 18 million people aged 16 years and above at parish and village levels.

According to Nsubuga, the age group was selected to avoid the electoral commission (EC) from wasting more funds to update the national voters’ register for the 2016 elections.

“The EC will use the same national register to issue people with voters’ cards in two years’ time. We are being proactive,” he said, urging the public to turn up for registration.

The second phase, he said, will target resident aliens and citizens below 16 years starting June, 2014 to February, 2015 at sub county level. From then onwards the Government will deal with continuous updating of the register with information such as births, deaths and change of citizens’ residence.

The citizens will be registered in accordance to the various categories of citizenship prescribed in the 1995 constitution. These include citizenship by birth, registration, or naturalization.

Nsubuga warned all project staff against laxity, explaining that they have planned to work 10 hours seven days a week.

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