6 February 2013

Cameroon: Hundreds Rush for Free Identity Cards

Some 204 cards are delivered daily at the Buea Central Police Station.

Since the Head of State announced the issuing of National Identity Cards free of charge during his end-of-year New Year message to the nation, there has been an upsurge of people from all walks of life in front of police posts to make their identity cards.

Talking to the Chief of Post at the Central Police Station Buea, Inspector Jean Martin Mevele, work is enormous. He and his staff treat at least 204 files a day and the crowd keeps increasing as the days go by. He enumerated difficulties encountered such as people who have expired identification cards, students who have never owned identification cards, and others for loss of identification papers. He stressed that some people whose cards are some months to go before they expire, also line up for new cards.

To make a new identity card, they have to present certified copies of birth certificates and certificate of nationality certified from the court. For those with loss identity cards, they have to present an attestation of loss. While for those with expired identity cards, they need just the expired copy to attach to the form.

After obtaining the receipt of the card, the owners register immediately with ELECAM which has installed their kit at the police post to facilitate registration.

As for other problems encountered, he said people are impatient and every one wants to be served first. He said some come and complain they want to travel, others say they are sick and should be treated first.

At press time on February 5, Jean Martin Mevele said the films for snapping pictures were finished. He said he had not had films for two days and this has reduced the pace of work. He added that there are lots of interventions from personalities who want to be favoured above others.

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