PM:  Tight ID card filing in border regions right

22Feb 2020
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
PM:  Tight ID card filing in border regions right

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has defended stringent processes for acquiring national identity cards for residents of regions bordering neighbouring countries as some residents complain of being treated as foreigners.

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa.

Speaking in Kigoma yesterday, the premier said strict processes in border regions are necessary due to reality, that some foreigners may seize national IDs to land Tanzanian citizenship irregularly.

He said there was no need to worry for genuine applicants since all Tanzanian citizens will get the IDs after proving to relevant authorities that they are indeed Tanzanian as required.

This intervention comes after residents of regions bordering neighbouring countries complained that they were being taken through rigorous interviews by authorities and yet they were not being issued with the documents.

Majaliwa first received the complaints while in Bukoba on Thursday when MPs from constituencies in the region told him that residents there were being treated as foreigners and feared they would not get the document. 

The premier was received with the same complaints upon arrival in Kigoma but defended the stringent measures, maintaining that the government cannot allow the national ID project to be used by foreigners as an easy route to getting Tanzanian nationality.

“All foreigners who wish to become Tanzanian citizens must follow laid down procedures,” he said, on the basis of a news release by the PMO.

He appealed to those who have applied for national identity cards but are yet to get the documents to be patient and let the relevant authorities do their work of thoroughly vetting the applicants before issuing IDs.

“I ask you to be patient and cooperate with authorities when they take you through the processes,” he urged.

There has been a rush for national IDs countrywide since it is the only document used for biometrical registration of mobile phone simcards as the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) switches off unregistered handsets.

Guidelines issued by TCRA to oversee the exercise require that a subscriber who wishes to biometrically register a sim card shall be required to present a Nida ID number bearing fingerprint verification.

As of 12th February, TCRA had switched off 7,316,445 simcards out of the 43,777,515 mobile phones in use countrywide. The fact that mobile phones are being switched off has led to a rush to offices of the National Identification Authority (NIDA) to process issuance of the prized document.

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