FOCUS: The hassle of getting a new ID

Having taken all the time to line up for almost three hours to get photographed for the new electronic identity card, I thought it would be less a hassle to get the ID. But this is a story shared by many.
Long queues have characterised the new identity card process from the beginning (File photo)
Long queues have characterised the new identity card process from the beginning (File photo)

Having taken all the time to line up for almost three hours to get photographed for the new electronic identity card, I thought it would be less a hassle to get the ID. But this is a story shared by many.

Without doubt, many are happy to receive the new electronic and water proof national identification cards a.k.a Indangamuntu.

After leaving his office around lunch time, Rurangwa thought he would use the lunch break to get the new magnificent looking identity card in a few minutes.

“I jumped on a motorbike and off we flew to Kimironko on a break neck speed. Arriving at the primary school where the ID’s were being given out, I was told by one Muyaneza who had just received his ID that I had to present a receipt indicating that I had paid the Frw 500 for the new ID” Rurangwa laments.

I recalled the hassle I also went through the previous day.
“You will have to show that receipt and if you do not have it, you just go back” he was advised by one Munyaneza in Kimironko.

Rurangwa  says that  as he was about to get on to the Motor bike to go and look for the receipt which he no longer remembered where he had kept it, another guy told him he could pay the money just there and get his card.

On entering the room where ID’s were being handed out, he realized that he was not alone in that predicament. In fact many others had more issues to resolve. Some who had paid were unable to get their ID’s as their names were not being read. 

Mukankusi, 34, and heavily pregnant had been at the primary school the previous day and had been told to return the next day. She says that she had been there since morning and could not get her ID.

“Can you imagine somebody told me that after I had left, my name was read out and nobody could pick it for me, and now it can not be located?”

Mukankusi has to wait and if she is lucky and her name is read out when she is present, then she will be able to get her ID.

Jimmy, one of the several people responsible for reading out and giving the IDs to the owners is visibly exhausted. He also is not amused with the way the process is moving.

“ I some times have to read out names of people and they do not respond yet they are around, others go back to look for their receipts when they hear their names and when they come back sometimes I have to go through the bundle of more than one hundred cards” 

“Sometimes it is just so boring” Jimmy laments.
Jimmy takes the burden to direct every one to where they should pay the money so as to get their cards.

This is the same guy that directed me to the room the previous day. But this was after he had read out my name. In the room where we are supposed to pay, I found this self important guy taking his time and lecturing to whoever cares to listen how he has been busy the whole day.

After I gave him the money, he started to make a phone call and then later asked me my name and before giving me my receipt, he again started talking on phone as I waited impatiently.

I felt like telling him not to waste my time but, I just kept my silence as I have learnt to do when I find my self in such situations which is more often than not.

By the time I went back to the next room to pick my ID, the group giving out the ID’s was about to leave and luckily for me they had not put back mine into the huge bundle of the rest of the un claimed cards.

When I finally got my new electronic ID, I couldn’t help but sigh with relief as I could see others visibly disappointed after failing to pick theirs.

frank2kagabo@yahoo.com

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