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ISSUING of
national identity which was expected to start last month will be delayed until
July, to enable the National Identification Authority (NIDA) accommodate all
valid information for other uses. 
NIDA Director
General Dickson Maimu said on Monday that having IDs with relevant and valid
information would help other government agencies to execute their duty more
effectively.

The government agencies that would use the ID cards in their day to day activities
according to NIDA are Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Higher Learning
Students Loans Board (HESLB), Social Security funds and National Electoral
Commission (NEC) thus producing an ID card with valid information was vital.

“Having an ID card is not enough, we have to go extra mile to ensure that
it contains all relevant and valid information. Such information will be 
used by other authorities as well,” he said, adding that accuracy was
needed in ensuring that perfect and quality cards are issued.

Mr Maimu said that the first phase of registering citizens which started with
civil servants based in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar witnessed misdeeds including
forged academic certificates. He said that about 700 police officers and 248
members of the Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) were found to have forged
academic certificates thus creating worries that if NIDA would not be precise
and serious the exercise would end up with many errors.

The director also said that the previous plan of issuing ID cards to all
Tanzanians within four years had to be shortened to 18 months as the same cards
were to be used in constitutional referendum to be held in 2014. Mr Maimu also
warned that National IDs were to be issued free of charge and all local
government officers who were deceiving the public that cards were for sale had
to immediately stop it.

The warning also comes a month after the Prime minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda,
assured the National Assembly that ID cards were to be issued free of charge as
the government was fully funding the project. He said local government officers
were key players in ensuring that valid and relevant information is obtained.

Mr Maimu also said that there would be close working relationship between NEC
and NIDA using equipment, staff and contractors to cut down costs. National IDs
tender was awarded to Iris-Corporation Behard, a Malaysian based firm at the
cost of about 200bn/-.

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