The Ministry of Internal Affairs reaches out to the public on the National Identity Card Project

The Ministry of Internal Affairs, the lead Ministry in the implementation and issuance of the National Identity Card project, has commenced public awareness campaign.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs, the lead Ministry in the implementation and issuance of the National Identity Card project, has commenced public awareness campaign.

The Ministry ran a full two-page advert in The New Vision, April 2, 2014 pages 32 and 33, of the National Security Information System (NSIS) Form 1 (Enrolment Form). Below find the information will be required to provide.

The NSIS mass enrollment form invites nationals to complete the form in capital letters. Although not explicitly stated, the advertisement is in Uganda’s national paper, The New Vision, is intended to give the public a heads up of the information required of them for registration and subsequent issuance of national identity cards.

However, information about where to find the mass enrolment form and when to visit to register was not specified in the advert.

The advertised enrolment form is divided into parts A and B. Part A has 10 sub-sections to be completed by the applicant. Subsections in part A require applicants to provide the following information in order (i) personal information (names, sex, dob, sex, education, occupation and disability status); (ii) place of residence (complete details of place of residence from specific health Centre facility of your place of birth, village and parish to district levels); (iii) place of birth (details as in (ii) above); (iv) place of origin and citizenship type (details as in (ii) above) including passport # and religious status; (v) Spouse details (as in (iv) above); (vi) Fathers details (complete personal details about father as in (i) above and their place of residence; (vii) mothers details (as in (vi) above; (viii) adoptive/ responsible guardian’s details. Subsection (ix) is marked for official use only, specifying details of the registrar or parish chief and enrolment officers.

Under the same part, subsection (x) is chairman verification committee space to sign and acknowledge the accuracy of the information provided.

Part B of the form is captioned “to be retained by GoU at the Sub-county.

Information to be provided under each subsection are (i) applicants declaration (providing full details of the applicant as in part A (i) above; (ii) Place of birth; (iii) For official Use only and (iv) Chairman verification committee field to sign.

The National Identity Card project is one of the most comprehensive exercises that have involved collaboration of all government entities across the board. Some of the institutions of government indicated as involved on the form are Immigration Uganda, Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), The Electoral Commission (EC), Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) and National Information Technology Authority of Uganda (NITAU).

Unconfirmed reports indicate that registration must only be done in Uganda and in person. And that is the reason for having not posted the form on-line. This is to ensure no room for errors. The national census has been delayed until the national ID project is complete.

This project is being meticulously handled considering the sensitivity to national security it portends in case of poor implementation. Already, a lot of resources have been expended on it.

The work ahead in promoting public awareness about the National Identity Card project has just started considering that national newspapers reach just 50,000 of the 34 million people. A multi-faceted awareness campaign should be implemented involving all media including print, radio, television and mobile.

It is recommended that a central one-stop information center, on-line/ web-portal providing all FAQs, and any information about the project should have been developed by now to enable those who can to access the information and spread the word. People want to know how and when will they be registered, which kind of identification will they need, do they have to travel to their polling stations or place of birth to be registered and how long does someone have  lived in place to be registered at that location. The big challenge with passports has been the laxity at which people are able to obtain local councils recommendations even in their absence. How will this project overcome such big loopholes to the integrity of the date collected? And finally, after how long will one get their national ID.

I look forward to working with government in implementing the national identity card project.

For God and My Country.

Copyright Mustapha B. Mugisa, 2014. All rights reserved.

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