The national identity registration that is currently underway is a very critical undertaking for the nation, and must therefore be handled with utmost care.
It is intended to enable the nation to have access to crucial details about its citizens that will help it to carry out its many functions more efficiently, if the various stakeholders will use those ID details well.
That is why for example the National Identification Authority (NIDA) must always satisfy itself that the documents it receives are genuine and guard against any tampering with the process.
NIDA has started well in undertaking the admittedly gigantic and challenging exercise, having tested the waters with a pilot registration in Kilombero.
We are sure the results of the pilot exercise have provided a lot of input into the way NIDA is implementing the exercise and dealing with the hitches.
It is also true that NIDA has already provided a lot of education to the public on what is required when one goes to register for the ID.
But the authority needs to know that even with public education saturation there will always be people and situation creating the recurring hitches.
NIDA has to continue to deal with these patiently in the interests of ensuring success of the exercise, however annoying they may be to the staff in the field.
Indeed our survey has shown that there is still a lot of ignorance around the exercise, with some confusing it for the national population census.
The survey conducted in various local government offices in Ilala and Kinondoni municipalities in Dar es Salaam at the weekend, also showed that many people could not follow minor instructions such as how to fill forms and differentiate this particular activity from the upcoming national population count.
One Dar es Salaam resident Pius Wakuja of Ilala Mafuriko said many people were not aware of the conditions and requirements for registration when going to apply for an ID, as a result they were embarrassed when they reached the offices, only to be informed that they could have done this or brought that document or letter.
Others have been complaining of spending hours in the registration queues, but failing to register due to some technicality, not to mention being told to go back to collect more documents as Erica Haule of Kimara, in Dar es Salaam said, recounting her frustrating experience with the exercise.
We know from their responses, that NIDA officials are closely monitoring the situation and will hopefully work speedily to solve the hitches so that the exercise continues smoothly.
But much as they are doing their best to cope with the situation on the ground, they must also know that many of the repetitive hitches they encounter can be lessened if public education is intensified.
The ads going out through the various media must always not only seek to clear the hitches that seem to be the source of complaints by the largest number of people, but also guide the people step by step on what to provide to the registration teams in the field.
Clearer ads going to the people about what is needed will for sure in time ensure easier registration.