The Tanzania People’s Defence Forces and the police have separately formed special committees to investigate the scam involving members of their staff alleged to have submitted forged school certificates to the National Identification Authority (NIDA).
Statements by both TPDF and police spokespersons said investigations will be launched immediately and that culprits will face court martial.
NIDA discovered that school certificates of 248 soldiers from TPDF and 700 police officers had been used by other persons, thus frustrating smooth issuance of National Identity Cards (IDs)
Speaking to journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday, TPDF spokesperson, Col Kapambala Mgawe said the investigation is being conducted in collaboration with NIDA.
He said soldiers who will be proved to have submitted fake school documents will be punished in accordance to the Defense Forces Regulations, Section 8.26 (1) (C).
Col Mgawe said the regulation states clearly that any soldier who will be proved to have forged school certificates while joining the army will be fired and charged in the military court.
“It is too early to confirm whether the officers forged their records or not. Everything will be known after completion of the investigations,” said the TPDF spokesperson while declining to mention the exact time investigations will take.
He stressed that according to army procedures it is difficult for a person to submit forged documents at entry point.
For its part, the Police Force said in a statement signed by Police Spokesperson, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Advera Senzo that a special committee comprising of members from police headquarters, administration commission, operation and investigation has been formed to thoroughly investigate the matter.
“We have received a report from NIDA concerning school certificate forgeries of some police officers. We are working on it,” she said.
She said since the matter involves police officers, every action will be done in accordance with the army’s rule and regulations.
NIDA on Monday 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.”
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.
Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI), Robert Manumba said the police force was not 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.
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 voter register.