Monday, August 06, 2012

Dar es Salaam

Lowassa caution government on national ID registration

Former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa this week stressed the need to defend national integrity in the registration process for national identification cards by ensuring non-citizens get no chance to register themselves as Tanzanians.

He cautioned leaders, starting from the village level, to work with care to ensure the process of registration, being undertaken by the National Identification Authority (NIDA, is conducted properly.

Lowassa sounded the warning in an interview by the Milimani TV owned by the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) in a special programme prepared by TV presenter Rose Mdhami.

Lowasa recalled how some former liberation war fighters based in the country and given Tanzanian passports during the Southern African frontline states era misused the documents when they visited member states. The frontline states comprised Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

He said patriotism should be given first priority and reinforced because it is a sensitive matter that is crucial for defending national integrity.

This he said was a fight of every Tanzanian regardless of their party affiliations. “In this exercise patriotism must be observed to defend citizens’ rights to get rid of perpetrators who would snatch Tanzanian citizenship without legal procedures.”

A member of parliament for Monduli constituency, Lowasa cautioned village leaders, especially those on the borders, because they were likely to tamper with the registration process as their presence would deny the rights of Tanzanians with the registration process.

The TV programme had also previously interviewed other former Tanzanian prime ministers over the newly introduced task of citizens’ registration with Dar es Salaam region as a pilot project.

NIDA started the registration of people for national identity cards in Dar es Salaam a month ago, now extended to end on Monday.  It has laid down procedures for registration and identification of persons Act of 1986 article 9 (2) state that “where the applicant is illiterate or otherwise unable to write, he/she shall dictate the relevant particulars to a registration officer or any other person authorised by the registrar for the purpose.

Upon completion the applicant shall acknowledge the correctness of the particulars by affixing signature or mark in the presence of registration officer or the other finger print or mark.

The government established the National Identification Authority (NIDA) on 1st July, 2008 to let Tanzanians be known among the five East African countries and even overseas.

NIDA’s core functions include issuance of identification and registration and management of identification cards, management and maintenance of permanent registration book.

NIDA’s Executive Director Dickson Maimu was quoted in Dar es Salaam as saying the process of engaging the company that would produce the IDs was in the final stages. The $176 million (about Sh200 billion) project has been delayed for decades now with documents, meetings and tendering moving from one office to the other.


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