Registration for national identity cards comes to a close in Dar es Salaam today with the National Identification Authority (NIDA) announcing that it was taking a pause to assess the results of the exercise which slightly over a month.
NIDA Director Geneal Dickson Maimu said their plans had been to move to Lindi and Mtwara, but that the plans have been put on hold.
He said currently they are assessing the Dar registration forms to see if the information revealed was correct or not before giving a report.
“There are people who might be foreigners, but have filled forms indicating that they are Tanzanians, etc,” he said.
“After this we shall inform the public on a new decision to be taken. That is when we shall say exactly where we will go next,” said Maimu, who confirmed that initially plans were to move to Lindi and Mtwara. He also confirmed that plans will be made for those who failed to register during the one month to do so in future.
The NIDA boss would not comment on plans for Tanzanians in the Diaspora, saying the issue had financial implications and needed consultations with ministries.
Regarding those reaching 18 tomorrow, Maimu said they will establish special procedures for them to register.
He said the same will be applied for special groups including the sick, prisoners, remandees and people with disability.
It was not immediately clear whether all eligible Dar es Salaam residents managed to register even after a week-long extension was granted.
Registration centres remained open yesterday, with people still trickling in to register.
NIDA Information Officer, Thomas William told The Guardian yesterday that after expiry of the extended time, his office will deliberate the needs of the people first before continuing with the exercise.
“We are aware that there are people who have not registered. But it has to be known that what we have done is a mass registration. The authority will set another registration procedure for those who didn’t register,” he responded when asked about the fate of those reaching 18 years on August 07, people who have travelled outside Dar es Salaam, the diaspora, the sick and those who had gone on vacation.
“We shall inform the public on the process to follow, so that every qualified person is registered. But this time the NIDA Assistant Registrar Officers (AROs) will not conduct the house to house registration for the permanent settlement registration book,” he noted.
Responding to the claims that the authority had favoured public servants by sending them forms in their offices, the officer said it was part of a pilot study.
“But I can assure you not all public servants received the forms. There are many who didn’t and they have followed the same channel that others used,” said William.
Regarding registration for the elderly and children on streets, the officer said every Tanzanian must register and must be recognized by the local government leaders.
Government leaders have urged people to ensure that foreigners are not registered as Tanzanians, telling them to report any such illegal moves to the authorities.
NIDA started the registration of people for national identity cards in Dar es Salaam a month ago, and extended it for one more week, which ends today.
Registration of foreigners and refugees is also being undertaken.
The procedure is laid out in the Registration and Identification of Persons Act of 1986 article 9 (2) which states: “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.
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 project is expected to cost USD176 million (about Sh200 billion).