By Yosam Gucwaki
Maragoli community in Kiryandong district have accused officials from
National Identification Regulatory Authority (NIRA) of extorting money
from them before giving them national IDs.
Led by their chairperson Kangoda Christopher, the members yesterday told officials from the Equal Opportunity Commission that they have tried to have National Identity cards but all in vain.
They added that some of them have bribed officials to get their IDs
while the poor ones remained without.
NIRA officals registering locals in Kiryandongo town
The tribunal which sat at Kiryandongo youth centre yesterday was on a fact finding mission to chat a way forward on how these people can be helped to get their IDs.
It was attended by the representatives of the Maragoli community,
Kiryandongo district leadership and officials from NIRA in
Kiryandongo and Kampala.
Wyclif Omuga, a resident of Kigumba town council, told the commission that he paid 800, 000 shillings to get his identity card and for the wife.
He added that since he was a fish monger who used to move from
Kiryandongo to Apac where national Identity card was a necessity he had no option but to only to pay the money for it in order to continue with his business.
Moses Masaba, whose father is a Ugandan citizen from the Bagisu tribe
said that he was also asked to pay 600,000 shillings to get his
national ID on grounds that he was not a Ugandan since his mother was
Christopher Kangoda, who is the chairperson Maragoli community, noted that the Maragoli who are over 30,000 in number are facing various challenges in accessing some government services ranging from medication to education of their children.
The Maragoli also face a challenge when they attempt to participate in local politics as they are discriminated by the indigenous locals
Commenting on the matter, Winiie Kabeije Rubanonza, the manager legalcompliance and enforcement NIRA appealed to the people who paid money to NIRA officials to register their names with their chairperson ,indicating the amount of money they paid so that the culprits are investigated and brought to book.
She also urged them to compile a list of all the maragoli who were
born as a result of inter marriage between them and other Ugandans and
send it to NRA head offices in Kampala so that their IDS can be
Hassan Bakwaiyuki Isabirye, the district Information Technology
Officer, said that he has not received any complaint from any person
who was asked for money to get a national ID and challenged them to
bring all their complaints in his office for investigations.
Source: www.mknewslink.com; a western Uganda news website.