Last week, the National Identification and Registration Authority came up with a proposal seeking to increase the amount of money needed to renew, replace National IDs or correct mistakes made on them from 50,000 - 500,000 shillings so as to reduce public negligence done when registering for national Identity cards.
While in an interview with The Fatboy Show presenter Olive Najjuma, the Nakaseke South MP Hon. Lutamaguzi Ssemakula emphasized that it was unfair to exert such a heavy amount of money on Ugandans when most of the mistakes that appear on national IDs are done by NIRA staff.
“I represent a rural area so when I put myself in the shoes of people who live in these areas, I discovered that none or a few of them can manage to part with 500,000 in the form of renewal of their identity cards or replacements. I got a number of concerns and made consultations with MPs from other regions and we came up with one voice that that money was not justifiable,” said Lutamaguzi.
He added that after listening to their concern, the Speaker of Parliament Hon. Anita Among tasked the Ministry of Internal Affairs to report to parliament on April 29, 2022 to justify the increment from 50,000- 500,000shillings.
Olive complained about the mistake on her national ID that was printed bearing two names Olive Najjuma yet she wrote three names on the registration document. This prompted her to question who is to pay for the mistakes done by NIRA during the registration process?
Hon Lutamaguzi in response said that its a right of Ugandans to own a national ID and not a privilege as is taken. He explained that this is because National IDs are used as legal documents in acquiring loans from banks and almost every other official transaction. People should be able to acquire them freely and NIRA is held responsible for most errors made on them.
“These people in NIRA need to be guided on who should take responsibility especially in regards to correction of names, pictures for instance 5 days back, someone from a different local government came to me complaining that majority of servants in that district did not access their payments because the pictures on their identity cards were not them and on some identity cards the pictures were there but the names were different,” he said.
“It's NIRA staff responsible for such errors and if they think that the public is supposed to pay for their errors, then there are a lot of question marks and Ugandans will go through that because they are very funny people. Very few of them can come out to fight for their rights,” he added.
However, he said that as Members of Parliament, they are yet to find out the justification of the increment since national cards aren’t printed by fuel and neither does the agency face economic hardships adding that setting such a price will be “broad day robbery.”
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive and Sarah every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.