Members of Parliament have raised concern over the continued failure by the government to issue National Identity Cards to Ugandans who had registered for them.
The MPs across the political divide raised these concerns at a sitting of the House chaired by the Speaker, Rt. Hon.Kadaga on Wednesday, 06th January 2016.
Kadaga said that she had received reports from all over the country that people have not received their identity cards adding they have to move long distances as the distribution exercise has been restricted to the district headquarters.
“Some people did not get their identity cards because they had wrong photographs or inaccurate information. They now use a lot of money to move long distances but still fail to get then. People are angry,” Kadaga said.
Hon. Rosemary Sseninde (Wakiso, Woman MP) added that people had reported that they were being charged money to get their identity cards.
“On top of having to travel all the way to the district headquarters to get identity cards, these people, some of whom are elderly and have disabilities are being forced to part with money to get identity cards,” Hon. Sseninde said.
Hon. Sseninde also sought clarification on whether people who lack national identity cards would be allowed to vote.
Busiro East MP, Hon. Medard Sseggona argued that for a district like Wakiso which stretches from the islands to the mainland with no public transport, it becomes hard for people to travel to the headquarters.
“How does one expect a poor person to come all the way from Entebbe to Wakiso district headquarters?” Sseggona wondered.
The Attorney General, Hon. Freddie Ruhindi, clarified that the National ID would be used for identification purposes but not as a requirement for voting in the next election.
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Rose Akol, said 16 million Ugandans had received their National IDs and those who had not picked them up are mainly in Kampala.
“Initially, the identity cards were being distributed at Parish level but the process is now being carried out at the district. We shall look into cases of those whose identity cards had errors so that they can pick them from convenient locations,” Hon. Akol said.
She added that it is unlawful to request for money from persons picking IDs and directed that those culpable should be arrested and charged.