Lack of Kits, Language Barrier Hampers National ID Enrollment Exercise in Masaka

1718 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Abdul Nsubuga, the Kyesiiga sub county LC3 Chairperson says despite the fact that the enrollment exercise kicked off on Monday it is being hampered by lack of kits.

The mass national identity card enrollment exercise is yet to start in 78 parishes in Masaka district due to lack of enrollment kits.  On Monday, government rolled out the countrywide mass national identity card enrollment exercise. The enrollment is targeting 18 million Ugandans from 16 years of age and above across 7,410 parishes.

However, in Masaka the exercise has not yet started in several parishes due to lack of equipment. Tolbert Musinguzi, the Masaka district electoral commission returning officer says they have only received fourteen kits out of the ninety two they expect. Each parish is entitled to one kit. A kit comprises of a laptop, a camera, a signature pad and scanner.

Musinguzi says the lack of equipment means that the exercise has not yet effectively started. He fears the delayed delivery of kits may slow down the exercise.

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Abdul Nsubuga, the Kyesiiga sub county LC3 Chairperson says despite the fact that the enrolment exercise kicked off on Monday it is being hampered by lack of kits. He says only one kit is available in his sub county. Nsubuga also says some residents have refused to take the forms and fill them because they do not understand the English language.

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In Masaka Municipality, registration is ongoing at some of the center despite the fact that the exercise is yet to start at many other centers. In Nyendo–Ssenyange division, residents were still unaware by this afternoon where to go for the registration. Some residents stormed the home of Henry Busuulwa, the Deputy Mayor Masaka demanding to know where they can get registered from.

Unfortunately, Busuulwa also didn’t know where he could direct them.

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Despite the fact that some of the applicants want the enrollment forms printed in vernacular, Musinguzi says this is not possible. He says those who can’t read and write in English will be assisted by the enrollment officer.  Some of the applicants told URN that they would keep the forms until their children return from school and help them to fill them. Erias Mugerwa, a resident of Bwala area says he cannot understand English.

He says that he expected the enrollment officers would ask him questions so as to fill in the forms. Pamela Ankunda, the spokesperson Ministry of Internal Affairs says all centers will receive the enrollment kits by the end of the week. She explained that the kits delayed because the computers were being upgraded.

Last month, George Mutabaazi, the Lwengo LC 5 Chairperson blasted government for wasting huge sums of money on workshops instead of sensitizing citizens on the national identity card enrollment exercise. He claimed that government had allocated a lot of money to Chief Administrative officers, District police commanders and District internal security officers in allowances but yet the ordinary people were not sensitized.


About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.