FILE PHOTO: NIRA issuance of the National Identity Cards.

New NIRA board tasked to expedite issuance of identity cards


Kampala, Uganda  | THE INDEPENDENT | The Deputy Chief Justice has tasked the newly appointed Board Members of the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) to restore confidence among citizens in the issuance of the National Identity Cards.

Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo said several Ugandans have been left in a state of uncertainty by the delays of the authority to offer services to the citizens.

Owiny-Dollo who was presiding over the swearing-in of the new members at the High Court in Kampala on Thursday said it was wrong for the Authority to make the access of the Identity Cards, a nightmare for citizens and urged them to provide the service at a record time.

He said people are no longer productive at their workplaces as they spend weeks lining up to verify their information at NIRA and their National IDs.

According to Justice Owiny-Dollo, the systems at NIRA must be streamlined to ensure citizens are saved of the untold suffering they have to go through.

He urged members of the board to ensure that Ugandans access their identity cards by speeding up the verification processes.

“When I lose my card, I should be able to get a replacement for a fee within record time. Also, go out and sensitize people on sensitivity of their documents especially cards. Our parents used to keep poll tax tickets more securely than this National Identification Cards and this card is so important. It’s like the passport we use to travel”

In January, Cabinet approved the appointment of the new governing board of NIRA. It will be headed by Joseph Biribonwa. Biribonwa is a former Commissioner at the Electoral Commission.

He will be deputized by Hon. Ruth Nvumetta Kavuma, a representative from the members of the Public on the Board. Other board members include Dr Paul Kintu, representing the Ministry of Internal Affair and Dr Chris Ndatira Mukiza, representing Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and the electoral commission boss Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama.

Maj. Gen. Apollo Gowa Kasiita, the Commissioner for Citizenship and Passport Control will be representing the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC) and Dr Betty Kivumbi Nanyonga, also representative on the Board from the Public.

Dr Nanyonga is a Senior Mathematics don, at Makerere University College of Natural Sciences.

Meanwhile, on the board, there is also Bemanya Twebaze, Uganda’s Registrar General and Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB).

Jeje Odongo, the Internal Affairs Minister urged the new board to check and fight corruption tendencies at the authority.

He also said that Ugandans desire to have their National Identity Cards processed as quickly as possible.

Maj. Gen. Gowa, says he is bringing his experience from the Directorate of Citizens to help fix the long-standing challenges at the authority.



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