Extortion Threatens National ID Registration in Masaka

Musa Kabogoza and Matia Kalule, both residents of Buwunga sub county have revealed that they failed to have their details captured by NIRA staffs deployed in their area on failure to offer them bribes.
NIRA enrollment officer dodging our camera, the officers are accused of extorting ID applicants in Masaka

Audio 3

Dozens of Masaka district residents have failed to register for the National Identity cards after objecting to the demand for bribes by the registration officers.

The National Identification Registration Authority-NIRA, early this month embarked on the second phase of registration for people who missed the initial phase in 2015. The residual registration process is being conducted at Sub-counties and division headquarters across the country.

But, dozens of residents in Masaka district are complaining that the officers are instead extorting money from applicants, before capturing their data. They have also been accused of exhibiting a poor working attitude and registering nonresidents. Kaboggozza says that the registration officers ask between 10,000 to 30,000 Shillings.

Musa Kaboggozza and Matia Kalule, both residents of Buwunga Sub County told URN that they deliberately declined a request for money by one of the enrollment officers and as such, their particulars, were never captured.  He explains that they are openly charged at the point of filling forms, photographs and capturing thumbprints.

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Our reporter visited the registration centre at Buwunga Sub County and found that the process had been halted allegedly because of a shortage of registration forms. But residents said that the excuse is used to fleece money from unsuspecting residents.

Masaka NIRA Office Communications Officer Joseph Kitumba says he has equally heard reports of extortion but says those involved in the practice are not in a way associated with NIRA. Kitumba, they have learnt of the existence of opportunists who are taking advantage of the community rush to register for IDs to con them.

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Masaka District Internal Security Officer Lieutenant Andrew Kandiho says that they are closely studying the reports and they will arrest the culprits. He argued the public to volunteer information to security in secrecy to enable them to address the underlying irregularities affecting the process.

Kyotera district Member of Parliament Robinah Ssentongo says that she has also obtained reports of registration on aliens especially around the landing sites and areas around the Uganda-Tanzania border of Mutukula.

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