Pupils required to carry parents’ NINs for national registration -NIRA

Pupils whose parents have not registered for national identification cards risk being left out in the upcoming registration exercise in schools.

Michael Muganga, the National Identification Registration Authority- NIRA deputy Public Relations Officer says that all students will be required to carry a copy of their parents’ National Identification Number (NIN) for them to be registered.

He was speaking at the launch of mass registration of children aged between 5 and 16 for the national identity card project Eastern Uganda at Sunset hotel in Jinja on Wednesday.

Muganga adds that the unregistered pupils will be affected because the government will not plan for their needs in schools including examinations. He adds that the registration exercise that kicks off on May 29 and ends on August 25 is aimed at getting the exact number of children in schools so that the government plans better.

The State Minister for Primary Education, Rosemary Seninde said that the government spends over 20 billion shillings on ghost pupils.

Seninde says that the identity number that will be given to each student will be captured on the report cards such that even when a pupil changes the school, the education ministry can follow up by tracing the identity number. She notes that with such a policy, the government will be able to reduce on the school dropouts since there is easy follow up.

The pupils will however not be given National Identity cards. Instead, they will be given a national identification number which will be used for the issuance of a National ID, once they turn 16. During the initial registration in 2014, the authority captured data for citizens aged 16 and above.




Telecom Agents outside Kampala charge illegal fees for sim verification

Agents of telecom companies in Luweero town are on the spot for charging phone users to validate their simcards. UCC set April 20th as the deadline for simcard validation and registration using the National Identification number.
However, the exercise has been extended for a month. Although both UCC and Telecom companies are sending text messages asking simcard holders to dial *197# to validate their simcards using their National Identification numbers, some people in Luweero are unable to do so, which has forced them to turn to telecom agents.
On Wednesday, hundreds of phone users rushed to telecom agents to validate or register their simcards so as not to be disconnected. However, some of the agents charged the phone users between Shillings 2000-5000 to validate or register their simcards despite the fact that the exercise is entirely free of charge.
Swamadu Saffi, a resident of Bwaziba LC 1 village in Luweero Sub County, says he paid Shillings 4000 to facilitate the registration of his Airtel and MTN simcard although he wasn’t issued a receipt. According to Saffi, he paid the money for fear of being disconnected when the UCC deadline expires.

Abdul Tagabirwa, a resident of Misanje village in Kikyusa Sub county says he paid Shillings 7000 to agents to register his two lines and photocopy his National Identity card. He asks UCC to take action against Telecom companies for cheating them.

Denis Mugisha, a sales agent at MTN Uganda, Luweero Town Service Point explains that simcard registration or validation is for free of charge.

He says the agents get a commission of Shillings 1200 for each registered simcard.

A sales agent at Luweero Airtel service point who told URN on condition of anonymity that they get a commission of Shillings 1000 for each registered simcard at the end of each month, but says this is their chance to double their earnings.

Atleast 200 clients had been registered by midday at both the Airtel and MTN Service Points in Luweero town. Isaac Kalembe, the Spokesperson Uganda Communications Commission has asked the affected people to report to Police all agents asking them for money to validate their simcards. According to Kalembe, those soliciting for money to validate simcards are doing it illegally, saying the exercise is free of charge.
There are long queues at Luweero District Electoral Commission Offices, which also houses the offices of the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) as hundreds pick their national identity cards validate their simcards to avoid disconnection.
At least 90 people had picked their National IDs by midday on Wednesday when our reporters visited the offices. Mohammed Mpiima, the Luweero District Information Technology Officer, says there are more than 16,000 national identity cards at the office. He says they are doing everything possible to distribute the National Identity cards.
He says they are referring those who need to replace their National IDs to the NIRA office in Kampala.