Dishonest members of the Tanzania People’s Defense Force (TPDF) and Police Force came under the spotlight yesterday, accused of frustrating smooth issuance of National Identity Cards (IDs).
The National Identification Authority (NIDA) said yesterday that it had uncovered massive forgery and serious anomalies in school certificates possessed by officials and employees of the two security forces, after a thorough investigation.
According to NIDA Director General Dickson Mwaimu the authority found out that school certificates produced (as key particulars to the authority in the processing IDs) by the officials have been used by more than one person.
He added: “We found out that a single school certificate has been used by a number of officials or employees in these organs. Such anomalies are really discouraging and in fact are frustrating the whole process.”
NIDA discovered that school certificates of 248 soldiers from TPDF and 700 police officers had been used by other persons, prompting the authority to suspend the IDs issuance.
National IDs were expected to be issued on April 26 this year, as a pilot project — starting with security forces and civil servants living in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and residents of Kilombero, Morogoro Region, but challenges related to forged school certificates and other shortcomings forced the authority to postpone the issuance date.
“Elements of forgery of school certificates, among other factors, have made our work more than difficult. We have failed to beat our target because of these shortfalls,” said Maimu.
The NIDA boss said the authority has directed the Iris project contractor to start making the IDs after resolving “these challenges.”
When contacted, TPDF spokesperson, Col Kapambala Mgawe, would not admit or deny the accusations of forgery levelled against the army personnel, explaining that he needed time to verify them before commenting.
“I will work on it tomorrow, get details on the reports, but I cannot promise to make a public statement,” said Mgawe.
In an exclusive telephone interview, the Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI), Robert Manumba said the police force was aware of the NIDA’s reports related to forgery of school certificates by police officers and employees, noting that they would act after receiving official correspondences.
According to DCI, the force was waiting for the official communication on the allegations from NIDA, noting: “We cannot work on reports and announce measures to be taken against the ‘culprits’ for something which we have not been informed officially.”
Disclosing other obstacles in the IDs-project, the NIDA boss mentioned change of postal codes after the government introduced new regions and districts and the review of voters register.
These developments, according to Maimu have contributed to delays in issuance of the identity cards.
He noted: “We have talked to relevant authorities --Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) and the National Electoral Commission (NEC) — to speed up issuing of postal codes to the new districts and regions and review of the voter register —“so that all processes go at par.”
“This is done to reduce costs and inconveniencies,” he explained.