By Nkonge I Kaggwa in Kampala
Ugandans are questioning the authenticity and legality of the National Identity (NI) registration exercise which kicked off on 14th April and have accused the government of lack of preparedness to adequately and efficiently implement the exercise. This follows country wide anomalies and challenges including late deliveries of machines, theft of equipment and lack of birth certificates among many Ugandans that have mired the process aimed at accessing the first ever citizen national Identity cards in the country.
While commenting on the exercise at parliament on last week, the leader of Ugandan opposition at parliament also the Member of Parliament for Bukooli Central, Philip Wafula Oguttu observed that government has failed to avail the country with an enabling law supporting the registration exercise. Oguttu wondered. Opposition chief whip Cecelia Ogwal added her criticism of the NI process, condemning the form designed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) that demands for birth and marriage certificates and demanding where one is expected to vote from. Ogwal described them as some of the tough questions used by MIA to disable a smooth registration of citizens.
The exercise which was launched by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on 13th April has been dubbed political by the Ugandan opposition. Museveni told the nation that the exercise will last for 4-months and assured the citizenry that the IDs biometric data which will capture the citizen’s blood group would be centrally stored. He further noted that the exercise will also eliminate people involved in fraud and impersonators since a computerized electoral register would be available.