I was shocked when I read in one of the local dailies about a directive that came out instructing Telecom customers seeking to replace their SIM cards to wait for 5 days awaiting verification of their National Identity card records by the National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA).
It was stated that ‘the new guidelines means that even if a telecom subscriber is in possession of the national identity card, for any telecom company to issue a SIM card replacement, such a person must show verification evidence from NIRA in order to establish whether the phone number is registered or not.’
What does it mean when to replace a lost simcard one has to wait for five days just to verify their National Identity cards? Does it mean we are carrying fake National IDs? If we have to wait that long for the verification process, it’s an indication that either our IDs are invalid or they are simply useless?
I wonder why we even bothered to get them in the first place if they require a 5 days verification process. Does that mean that we wasted our time in trying to getthem? Besides that, is it of any use to carry them around when they need verification?
I really thought that our National IDs had a feature on them that can identify their authenticity. Why can’t we make use of that instead of wasting people time and money by going through those terrible verification processes?
Lairah Nassejje, Kampala