14 March 2013

Tanzania: Muhimbili Employees Get National ID Cards

ABOUT 2,OOO employees of the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) are expected to receive their national identity cards from the National Identification Authority (NIDA) by tomorrow.

NIDA Head of Communication and Documentation Unit, Mr Thomas William told reporters in Dar es Salaam that his organisation will carry out identity cards exercise for MNH employees for three days. "We have started issuing identity cards to public institutions and the next group will be Dar es Salaam residents," said Mr William.

He pointed out that NIDA plans to open its offices in every district to facilitate the exercise of issuing the cards. Mr William urged members of the public to provide NIDA with maximum support and that people should contact NIDA when a foreigner attempts to cheat to acquire an identity card for nationals.

According to him, there are three groups: Nationals, refugees and foreigners who are supposed to get national identity cards. President Jakaya Kikwete recently cautioned the National Identification Authority (NIDA) against issuing identity cards to foreigners, warning that stringent measures would be taken against those who will do so.

President Kikwete issued the warning when launching the long-awaited national ID cards. He stressed that he would not allow the IDs to be issued to foreigners as is the case with national passports, where some immigration officials have been arraigned over the matter.

"A foreigner or refugee should not be given a resident national ID card. You should refrain from giving a person a national ID that they are not supposed to get, just because they are giving you some money," Mr Kikwete stressed. The president also warned the Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA) to be vigilant, as there will be a scramble for birth certificates, as people register for the National ID cards.

He said the exercise will now be carried out jointly between NIDA and the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to reduce cost and repetition of the public providing the same information, as well as ensure the exercise is completed before the 2015 general election.

He promised that his government would ensure that funds, facilities and human resources are available, challenges that have been hampering the issuing of the national IDs. I have talked with the Minister for Finance and his Permanent Secretary on the matter and they have assured me that this would be taken care of.

We have no option but to make sure this is taken care of as soon as possible," he explained. He commended NIDA for fulfilling what he called "a long Tanzanian dream that has finally come true."

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