HIGHER learning loan applicants have been warned against forgery following the discovery of some 500 fake birth and death certificates presented last year for loan processing.
The warning was made in Dar es Salaam yesterday during a joint press conference held by the Registration Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA) and Higher Education Students' Loans Board (HESLB).
"We discovered 500 fake birth and death certificates from the applications made last year alone and we took legal measures. Applicants should stay warned as we will not hesitate to take such measures in future," said the RITA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ms Emmy Hudson.
She urged applicants to certify their birth certificates as a prerequisite for loan processing before the set deadline early next month. Ms Hudson further noted that last year, some applicants faked deaths of their parents and their birth certificates to acquire loans, adding that the act was illegal.
"... ..I call upon applicants not to go in the offices which are not recognised by RITA for certificate acquiring purposes. Legal measures will be taken against applicants who will fake deaths of their parents and submit fake birth certificates," she emphasized.
Ms Hudson said all applicants who are not in the districts from where they got their birth certificates, should send their applications to the agency's headquarters through email.
She added that the applications must be attached with a receipt of 3,000/- to be paid at the agency's bank account and a clear copy of certificate. Ms Hudson called upon the general public to have a culture of certifying their certificates and shun the tendency of waiting until when they are required to certify for a particular reason.
"RITA offices are open all the time to register births and deaths. These activities should be done all the time to avoid rush hours and congestion in times like these, when many loan applicants will now be forced to come to our offices," she said.
The Executive Director of HESLB, Mr Abdulrazak Badru who accompanied Ms Hudson pointed out that the certification of the certificates in quest was a number one procedure and that whoever fails to do so will not qualify for a loan.
"Among the things required by the law for one to qualify for loan application are birth and death certificates. Loan seekers should cooperate with RITA so that they can qualify, otherwise they will miss out the opportunity," he said.
"We have an initiative to register students from the age of 6 to 18 years, the scheme which is dubbed '6-18 Birth Registration Initiative' has already registered 45,240 students out of which 36,735 have been given their birth certificates in Kinondoni, Ilala, Temeke, Kigamboni and Ubungo districts of Dar es Salaam as well as Kilindi District in Tanga Region and Iringa District in Iringa Region," she said.
Ms Hudson said Rita has been making sure that Tanzanian children are registered and given birth certificates in time in their respective areas of birth before they reach five years.
She added that the campaign to ensure that all children under five get birth certificates was underway in seven regions in the country which includes Mwanza, Mbeya, Songwe, Iringa, Njombe, Shinyanga and Geita.
She said the programme has been successful in the regions in question as 100 per cent of under five have been registered and acquired birth certificates for free, adding that the campaign will soon be launched in Lindi and Mtwara.