The Deputy Chief Justice, Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo has sworn in new members of the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) and urged them to improve on the pace at which new National Identity Cards and replacement for the lost ones is done.
The new board includes Mr Joseph Biribonwa, a former commissioner at the Electoral Commission as the Chairperson, deputized by Ms former Kalangala district woman Member of Parliament, Ruth Nvumetta Kavuma. Other members are; Mr James Saka from NITA-U, Dr. Paul Kintu, Dr. Chris Ndatira Mukiza, Dr. Betty Nanyonga Kivumbi and Maj. Gen Apollo Kasita Gowa.
There has been a general outcry from the public about the slow pace officials process the National Identity cards. Some people registered in 2014 have never got their cards, while those who lost them have had to wait for years before getting replacements.
Justice Dollo told the NIRA Board that this must stop adding that Ugandans are entitled to speedy access to this service. He said being on the Board should not only be a prestige, but a commitment to serve the country.
He urged the members to ensure that Uganda’s National Identification Cards have value, integrity and security and that getting them should be an easy process.
“I have heard that it is a nightmare for people trying to replace national identity cards. I don’t’ know why. This is wrong because getting access to most of the public services is dependent on the national identity card, not police letters,” the DCJ said.
“So honourable Minister (Jeje Odong), one of the things this Board has to do is to speed up the process. When I lose my card I should be able to get a replacement easily. The only thing is the money because I have been careless and therefore, I have to pay for it,” Justice Dollo added.
He also shared how he had to produce a National Identity card during a job application.
“I wrote an application last week and the first item they wanted from me was my National Identity. Now if I did not have it or if I had lost it and I had to present a police statement to that effect, probably it would have worked against me. So please, let our people get these things as soon as possible and also go out to sensitise them on importance of these cards,” he said.
Gen. Odongo, the Minister of Internal Affairs said the selected people were the best available candidates to fill the positions as board members. He said the members were vetted and approved by the cabinet before final confirmation. He also urged them to work hard to improve things at the registration authority so that Ugandans can get their documents in time.