- Published on Sunday, 19 August 2012 02:08
- Written by ANTHONY TAMBWE
- Hits: 781
AS the registration for the National Identification Cards came to a close on Sunday the 5th, a big number of Dar residents are complaining that the allocated time was too short.
For several weeks, the city residents could witness long queues outside local government offices as they tried to meet the deadline set by the National Identity Authority (NIDA).
The residents interviewed by the ‘Sunday News’ this week said that the exercise was given too short time. Most people could not find time to go and register and that the registration process was, in most cases, slow and tedious.
NIDA Head of Information, Education and Communication (IEC), Mr Tom William, said that the exercise was complicated because most waited until the last moment before they went to register.
Mr William cited the example, of several years ago, when Tanzanians were required to register their mobile SIM card numbers, but even after the government had extended time, still a big number of the people could not register.
He said that to some extent, the registration exercise recorded impressive success because a large number turned up and registered before the deadline. “Apart from encountering a few hitches, the mass registration was a huge success, and Tanzanians responded well from the beginning of the exercise,” he said.
Mr William said that some of the challenges encountered included some local government officials asking for money from the people, insisting that the registration process was free and that people should not be deceived to part with money.
He said after completion of the registration, NIDA will form a team which would collect details of those who registered and screen the information for authenticity. He expressed optimism to complete the exercise of issuing national identification cards by 2014.
However, several Dar residents cited several irregularities in the registration process, with some claiming that the requirements in some cases were outrageous. Virginia Mulongo, a resident of Tegeta Kibaoni, on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam city centre, charged that apart from the registration officials being too slow and thus creating long queues, they also demanded applicants to get introduction letters from their village executives.
“I spent nearly three hours on the queue, and finally when it was my turn, I was told to go and come back with a letter of introduction from my village executive. I did that, only to reach there and being told that he had travelled and would come back in three day’s time. I had to give up,” she said.
Regina Masha, a resident of Kigamboni in Dar es Salaam, said that she failed to register for the national identification after she was required to fill the details of her father. She said that after being raised by her mother throughout her life, she could not accomplish the task because her mother in all these years had not said anything about her father, who left when she was only two years old.
Mr William clarified that details of both parents are required in many instances, saying that even when one is enrolling for primary or secondary education, children are required to provide details of both parents.
“That is a very flimsy excuse, because this requirement is mandatory in so many areas and I doubt she has reached that age without even once being required to fill in the details of her parents,” he said.
Most people from the informal sector complained that they could not get time to register because they could not find time in their tight schedules.
Rosemary Sanga, a restaurant operator in Mwenge in Dar es Salaam, told this paper that she has to be up before 4:00am every day to go to the market in Kariakoo to get her commodities. “I usually return home at around 11:00pm every day, tired and knowing that I have to repeat the same process the next day. So getting time to go for registration is not possible,” she said.
She said that the only time she gets time for herself is on Sundays, and most of the time she has to concentrate on house chores, which usually takes up most of the day. NIDA Director General, Mr Dickson Maimu, in a statement issued in Dar es Salaam last week, said that the registration exercise had registered more than 5.5 million people with over 2.1 million registering with their local government authorities.
He said the agency has suspended the exercise to pave way for the national census exercise slated for later this month, saying that NIDA will also be involved in the exercise. “The next phase of national identification process will involve the Coast, Lindi and Mtwara regions and will take off soon after the census exercise,” he said.