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Shs 50,000 National IDs renewal fees scrapped

A strategic move or political gesture? (

The State Minister for Internal Affairs, General David Muhoozi, announced that citizens will no longer be burdened with the Shs50,000 charge for renewing their national identity cards (IDs). This announcement, made during a parliamentary session on Tuesday, marks a pivotal shift in government policy regarding ID renewal fees.

The move comes amidst mounting concerns raised by Members of Parliament regarding the sluggish pace of ID renewal and issuance processes. Despite the allocation of Shs300 billion for this purpose, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has yet to receive any funds, leading to delays in critical activities such as recruitment and procurement.

Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa expressed apprehension over the impending deadline for ID renewal and enrollment, emphasizing the need for swift action to prevent a national crisis. He urged the ministry to initiate the recruitment process immediately, even in the absence of allocated funds.

This decision to waive renewal fees raises questions about the government’s motivations. While some view it as a welcome relief for citizens, others speculate about the underlying political implications. The Deputy Speaker had previously cautioned against using the ID card exercise as a revenue-generating scheme, highlighting its essential role in accessing social and economic services.

MP Tonny Ayoo underscored the need for efficiency in the ID renewal process, drawing parallels with the streamlined procedures observed in the renewal of driver permits. He called upon the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) to leverage existing systems to expedite ID issuance and renewal.

Meanwhile, Minister Muhoozi reassured stakeholders of the ministry’s commitment to the ID renewal exercise. Despite funding delays, procurement for ICT equipment is underway, and staff training in the new National Security Information System is progressing.

Plans are also in place to address logistical challenges in hard-to-reach districts, including the provision of standby generators and solar panels.

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