An influx of people at the national identity registration centres coupled with the slow form filling has the National Identification Authority (NIDA) mulling extension of the exercise beyond the initial July 30 deadline.
A survey by this paper has established that as days pass, more people are flocking to the registration centres increasing the workload for the few field officers.
Long queues were observed on Monday and yesterday, with the majority of the older people waiting to have their details recorded by the officers in-charge.
NIDA Information Officer, Thomas William confirmed that there were plans to extend the registration to allow registration of more people flocking to the centres.
“Although we are within the set timeframe, we still think that if people continue to flock to the centres as the deadline nears, we shall extend the time. The aim is to enable every Tanzanian above 18 years to obtain a national Identity card,” he noted.
Some city dwellers have criticised NIDA officials of deliberately slowing the exercise.
Zawai Ringo a resident of Kigogo Mbuyuni told this paper that
some of the officials were favouring people known to them and keeping others waiting for hours for the service.
“I think all of us should queue for the service. But there are some who, we think are known to them and therefore are being attended promptly, while some of us are endure for hours in the sun,” claimed Bakari Athumani another Kigogo Mbuyuni resident.
Athumani who arrived at the registration centre as 08:30 and left at 11:30 yesterday said he had postponed all his activities for the day knowing that he could not spare any other day for the exercise.
“I will be travelling abroad tomorrow (today- Wednesday). I have no other time to register,” he told this paper.
While many people complain about the queues, proposing to be provided with the registration forms to fill on their own, a chairperson of the exercise at Kigogo Mbuyuni, Kinondoni municipality Mohamed Mnunga said that he tried to provide the forms to the people in order to simplify the process, but it failed to work as many of them filled them wrongly, spoiling many forms.
“We tried to provide each individual with a form but we found that a lot of them were wrongly filled in, especially where details of the place and years of parents’ birth and their places of birth. We thus agreed to supervise the form filling process of each person. That is why it is time consuming,” the chairperson clarified.
Despite of the challenges, the turnup of the people has increased as days go on.
The chairperson for registration at the National Stadium Street, Temeke municipality Vincent Rutinwa said the number of people registering for the IDs has increased tremendously.
“I only registered 95 people last week, but this week the number is increasing,” he said.
For his part the registrar for Matumbi Street Temeke municipality Gerald Makato, said there were still some challenges including lack of awareness by the majority of people regarding the exercise.
He said some people didn’t know how to read and write, forcing the officials to help them to fill the forms.
Naomi Magesa a resident of Madenge Street in Temeke Municipality revealed that she registered because of the influence from the media and neighbours, declaring that she was not aware of the need of having the national ID.
When contacted on Sunday, NIDA public relations officer Rose Mdami said that the exercise was facing many challenges which, according to her have somehow been addressed.
Mdami called on residents from other regions to be better prepared as the exercise rolled out to the rest of the country, without disclosing which region would be next.