The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has expressed concerns at the snail pace distribution of national identity cards thus affecting preparation of the forthcoming presidential elections.
Addressing the media recently, the commission’s chairman, Prof. Chrysologue Karangwa, said there are so many eligible voters who have not received their national identity cards.
“We have over 500,000 people on the voters’ registrar who have not yet got their new national identity cards as well as those who lost theirs. This is threatening our preparations in as far as elections are concerned,” said Karangwa.
He revealed that there are also piles of identity cards still unclaimed at local government offices across the country.
“Some identity cards don’t reach their real respective areas and owners fail to trace them. The National Identity Card project should take the responsibility of directing people on this matter,” he added.
According to the current voters’ registrar, the number of voters jumped from 3,948,746 in 2003 to 5,287,749 currently.
According to the Executive Secretary of NEC, Charles Munyaneza, the commission will issue 1,400,000 new voters’ cards for the new voters.
When contacted Pascal Nyamurinda, the coordinator of the National ID project said: “We are aware of the problem of over 500,000 people who are registered but don’t have their IDs. We are doing everything possible with the local government to solve the matter.”
“We have been deploying teams across the country over the last two weeks to capture biometric data that include taking photos and finger prints to process these cards, and by the end of this month, at least everyone will have received his or her identity card.”
Nyamurinda attributed the piles of unclaimed IDs at several sectors to people who keep moving from place to place and some voters not bothering to pick up their cards from the area where they first registered.