Thursday, September 25, 2014

Potential uses of #Uganda National ID

I had written about this National ID when the idea first came up. I did not save the original writing so let me take a crack at this thing.
1) Employment - generally many countries have an id which the employer, employee and government uses for employment reasons. Canada has the Social Insurance Number (SIN). USA has the Social Security Number (SSN). France has the National ID. So Uganda getting a National ID in this context would not be a big deal.
2) A National ID like mentioned above is used for Payroll, Payroll Tax Deductions which get sent to the government monthly for corporations or quarterly for tiny companies.  This ID is used to log your contribution and your employer's contribution to your Employment Insurance (the money you get paid should you lose a job and then you are paid while job searching, or if you have a baby and take time off, or if you have a family member who is sick and need time off and this insurance covers a portion of your salary). This same number is used for Pension. You all do know that not too many companies now have pension plans (it is expensive) and yet most countries have a pension plan in which part of your salary and matching share from your employer goes.  Were it not for this unique ID, how would we track your contributions and company think about this people.
3) Identification purposes. Some countries have much info on your ID but I know in Canada it is just your ID number and names, nothing more.  But think about this, in Uganda, you do not have country IDs for everyone and not everyone has a driver's licence or passport. In Canada all kids get a drivers licence at 16yrs Or a school ID in Secondary School and both and then we have a Health Card for medical and this National ID (Social Insurance Number). Many places require 2 pieces of ID for identification. We tend to have more than that. In Uganda, what do you use as your 2 pieces of ID?  So do not fight the National ID that much as it is good for some things.
4) There had previously been rumours of finger prints. I have not yet seen one with finger prints. So Walokoso please, ditch it.
5) Your name and town or village will naturally identify your tribe. We do not have that in Canada or USA so I am not sure of the implications but can see where some bias can come from.
6) No National ID, no job - well, we are tired of ghosts so we need to do a major ghost busting thing here and I think the National ID can help much as we can use it for payroll, employee and employer.
7) Voter Register - I am having a bit of a problem with this one because we do not use these IDs for voting in Canada, usually our citizenship, birth certificates and driver's licences. But knowing now that Uganda does not easily give these to people, it is likely that the only reliable thing now is for the National ID for the voter registry.  I am just worried about the tribe thing which is not indicated but can be guessed from the village or town a person registers...BUT hey people, let us not get carried away here...most of us know which tribe you belong too according to your name. Remember most of us went to schools with other tribes. At this point I should mention that I am changing my name to my original one, Namutebi...hahaha...wonder how that will sound.
8) The National ID if used for some of the reasons I have mentioned, it is a good thing. It can also be used for registering trans immigration, unemployment, death, etc..
9) Question - is this a completely Centralised registration that has total transparency that I can take your ID number and search information on you? Naturally confidential information should be hidden but just a basic search for your name and phone number should be available...and we can charge sh.20,000 for each search.  Then not every dick tom and harry will abuse it.
10) I had read somewhere that those people who did not register for the National ID would automatically lose their Ugandan citizenship.  Do you know that if you are born in Uganda you never lose your citizenship? A Child born of a Ugandan is a natural Ugandan? So who came up with this silliness that if we do not fly home in 60-90 days, we lose our citizenship? In which case, kiss my ass.  That constitution that you bastardized will come and bite you.  Not having a SIN or SSN number has never made a Canadian or USA person lose their citizenship.  So this must have been a total bullshit story.
11) You are so sure of your birth in Uganda, then let the elders on our villages say who you are, your parents, your grandparents. Tumbafu.
12) Do you have any questions?  I do not feel like answering them. hahahah...kidding. Inbox me or comment and I shall be at your service.

Martha Leah Nangalama

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