TANZANIA this week made history again by inaugurating the National Identification (IDs). The President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, launched the IDs in Dar es Salaam.
The move has been hailed as an important strategy that will help the government execute its various development plans more effectively. It was all said at the Karimjee grounds in Dar es Salaam, starting with the history of the national identification process way back during the first phase government of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and culminated in the fourth phase government of President Kikwete.
It is a good thing for any government to have data of its people, to know where they are and what they are doing for a living. It is also an opportunity for the government to have Clear Avenue for its revenue collection for further development of the country.
The occasion was a good start for better things to come in that the government will now be able to have better plans for its people. In fact even the Holy Scriptures talk of the importance of every nation knowing its people in order to have better plans.
A lot was said during the inauguration ceremony on the importance of every citizen having the national interest at heart. This calls for every one of us to be vigilant in guarding our national integrity against elements bent on disrupting our nationhood. It is a known fact that we as a nation have passed through ups and downs, and sometimes due to reasons that are externally motivated.
Concerns that had been raised by dignitaries who addressed the ID issuance ceremony had this experience in mind. As a matter of fact, Tanzania has friends as well as enemies, and maybe this could be associated with the peace and tranquility that prevails in the country.
For one would wonder, why would somebody, who is not a Tanzanian, wish and do all that it takes to have a Tanzanian passport? Or why many people who are experiencing turmoil in their countries find Tanzania a safe haven for them? There have been cases of Tanzanian passports owned by foreigners outside the country.
One would wonder how did they get access to such sensitive documents? Could it happen to the national IDs as well? President Kikwete showed his greatest concern on foreigners possessing Tanzanian documents and this shows that some individuals in the Ministry of Home Affairs who are the custodians of the Tanzanian passports have been trading on them.
We hope these people will not do it on the national IDs. The good thing is that great care has been applied through latest technology to make sure it will not be easy to tamper with them. Tanzanians have also been reminded to ensure that they report to authorities on anybody they suspect to be a foreigner but lives within their midst. Local government leadership have great role to play to ensure the exercise is successful.