No Job Without National ID Card
Ugandans without the newly introduced national identity cards will not qualify for employment, education, travel or health care in the country, government recently announced.
Issuance of national IDs kicked off last month at Kololo.
"With this card, it will be very easy to enrol children in school, get free medical services at hospitals. Once a person has the card, it means that everything will be regulated using the national ID. The ministry will gazette that no person shall be eligible for employment without the ID because it is important for planning," said Betty Nasenja, the deputy project manager of the National ID project.
John Eresu Elyanu, the chairman of National Citizenship and Immigration Board at the ministry of Internal Affairs, said without the card, one would not even get a passport.
Every Ugandan of 18 years and above will receive an ID card using the barcode technology. The card bears one's name, date of birth, residence, identification number, sex and expiry date. It is expected that the system, if managed well, will improve national security, planning for the population as well as governance.
The cards will first be issued to Ugandans whose data was captured in 2010 during the registration of voters, where 5.2 million people registered. If one does not find their card, they will wait until November when registration of other Ugandans in the whole country starts.
A person's fingerprint will be taken and put on the card for unique identification. This will help weed out ghost soldiers, teachers and help fight corruption. While the cards are free of charge, Eresu said anyone who lost the card would pay Shs 40,000 for a replacement. The ministry had developed a verification manual, which would identify who a citizen of Uganda was before the ID is given.
The project faced a stalemate when it was reported that the German firm Muehlbauer Technologies was contracted to issue the IDs under dubious circumstances in March 2010, on the orders of Museveni. The company was given Shs 240bn but by mid this year, it had issued barely 400 cards.