Members of parliament from Kigezi region have opposed the proposal by government to introduce cost sharing by citizens to acquire national identity cards. While presenting the 2012/2013 financial year budget, Maria Kiwanuka, the finance minister announced plans by government to introduce cost sharing to allow government to print national identity.
However, some legislators from Kigezi region say there is no need to introduce cost sharing since government has allocated billions of shillings towards the national ID project. The Kigezi MPs include Chris Baryomunsi, Kinkizi East, Jack Sabbiti, Rikiga County, Niwagaba of Ndorwa East, Andrew Baryayanga of Kabale Municipality and Kabale district woman Rhona Ninsima.
The MPs say that they were shocked to hear the cost sharing pronouncement by the finance minister Maria Kiwanuka. Andrew Baryayanga, Kabale Municipality MP says there is no need of subjecting Ugandans to suffering under the guise of contributing to the National identity card project yet some people have already received cards without paying a single coin.
He instead advises government to track down those who misused funds allocated for the national identity project, since it is the government responsibility to give citizens identification.
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Chris Baryomunsi, the Kinkizi East Member of parliament says that it will be unfortunate for government to fail to put things right and instead shift the burden to citizens, most of whom are unable to feed themselves.
Baryomunsi insists that enough money was allocated to the National Identity project but it was mismanaged by corrupt officials. He advises government to consider allocating more funds to the project saying Ugandans are entitled to free national identity cards.
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Jack Sabbiti, the Rukiga County MP says that he is vehemently opposed to the proposed introduction of cost sharing on national identity cards. Jack Sabbit says it is important for Ugandans to get national identity but insists it is the responsibility of the Uganda government to provide them.
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Wilfred Niwagaba, the Ndorwa East County MP says that they will reject the proposal once it is tabled on the floor parliament. He says it is unrealistic for the government that allocated over 87 billion shillings to the national Identity card project to start exploiting citizens. He says that the first batch of the identity cards was only issued out to highly placed government officials.
Ninsima Ronah Ritah, the Kabale district woman MP says that unless government discards the proposal several people may develop a negative attitude towards the project, which has good intensions. She says it is a shame for government to shift its responsibility on citizens.