NYARUGENGE -Concerns have risen over the low turnout at the venues where people are being photographed for their electronic national Identity Cards as the exercise enters its third day.
The exercise commenced on Monday with Nyarugenge District in Kigali City, but photographers say they have since received very few people despite that the exercise ends tomorrow in the district.
Theresa Mukashyaka, a volunteer at Kiyovu photography site explained that people have not shown interest compared to how excited the public was during the registration exercise for the IDs last year.
She attributed the low turn-up to the four days given by the Ministry of Local Government for the accomplishment of the exercise in Nyarugenge District.
"During the registration process, we were given two days but with four days given (for photographing) people think there is enough time yet it is not the case," Mukashyaka told The New Times during a mini survey in Mahoro and Kiyovu cells yesterday.
"People have not shown up in large numbers and we are concerned that the four days might end before they are all covered," Solange Mutoniwase, a photographer at Mahoro site said.
She said that people are supposed to arrive at the site at exactly 7 a.m but that they instead arrive beginning 8:30 a.m, which has slowed down the process.
"Probably people think four days are enough and there is no need to panic," she added.
Mutoniwase expressed fears that photographers might be overwhelmed during the last two days of the exercise in the district since people tend to come at the last hour.
Augustine Kampayana, the official in charge of public awareness for the national Identity Cards programme in the Ministry of Local Government, warned that Nyarugenge residents who will not have been photographed by Thursday evening will be squarely responsible for the consequences.
He insisted that the stipulated days will not be extended, urging people to turn up for the exercise in the remaining days.
He also said that on the first day, it was not so easy for the photographers because most of them were not used to the cameras in use.
"But things have since improved," he added.
Officials also said that people have in most cases been asked to repeat their thumb prints because of inconsistencies
Kampayana said people should also take the elderly and the sick ones on the third day of the exercise (today) except for those in critical condition.
After Nyarugenge, the districts of Kicukiro and Gasabo will follow with each allocated six days since they have more people, officials said.
The photography exercise will be completed across the nation in August and it is expected that the new electronic IDs will be issued in September, this year.
A total of 9,043,580 people registered for the national Identity Cards. A person will have to pay a minimum fee of Frw500 for the ordinary Identity Card.