KAGERA Regional Commissioner (RC) Salum Kijuu launched the issuance of the National Identification Cards here yesterday, warning against the cards falling into wrong hands.
The RC warned District Commissioners, District Executive Directors and Village leaders to conduct the exercise diligently and with maximum caution, considering that Kagera Region borders four neighbouring countries - Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Kenya.
Mr Kijuu was the first to receive his national ID with Serial Number 19531030-11483-00001-28. He also called on Kagera residents to use the opportunity by turning up in large numbers in their respective areas for registration.
National Identification Authority (NIDA)’s Regional Registration Coordinator Hassan Godi, revealed that during phase one that involves public employees, 23,190 citizens were earmarked to receive the ID cards but only 22,771 people, 98 per cent of the target, were registered.
He noted that hitherto his office had received 15,376 national ID cards, assuring that the authority will work closely with local government leaders through tight vetting to ensure that only eligible citizens aged 18 years and above are issued with the sensitive cards.
Regional Immigration Officer (RIO) Abdallah Towo told reporters that the screening exercise will be closely monitored to avoid registering and issuing the cards to aliens, threatening stern legal measures against those flouting the exercise.
According to the 2012 Population and Housing Census, Kagera Region had 2,458,023 people, 1,205,683 males and 1,252,340 females. Out of the population, 2,231,033 were living in rural areas, with urban centres accommodating 226,990 people.