The National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) has warned that the country risks running without an updated register required for the successful conducting of the 2026 General Election if the government goes not avail the required funds.
Appearing before Parliament’s Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs on Wednesday, the Executive Director of NIRA, Ms Rosemary Kisembo, said they are already behind schedule on the fresh registration, renewal and update exercise of persons for the issuance of the National Identity cards.
Officials at NIRA reported to Parliament that the Shs666.850 billion that was on August 15 last year approved by Cabinet for the exercise is meant to be spent on the purchase of new equipment and recruitment of additional staff.
Of this, Shs466.795 billion should have been secured already by government to facilitate the initial processes. Ms Kisembo, therefore, set January 31 next year as the final date for all requirements to be put in place for the successful exercise.
“There are loud alarms even now as I speak. What I mean is that if money has not been made available, it will be near to impossible to acquire certain aspects of a hardware. So government will have to resort to a plan B. We will raise a red flag on January 31, 2024,” she told MPs.
The NIRA executive director was responding to queries by committee chairperson Wilson Kajwengye (Nya- bushozi) and Mr Alex Niyonsaba (Bufumbira South) who wanted to know the implications of delayed funding. Ms Kisembo said the current machines at NIRA office are outdated and, therefore, cannot handle the roll-out process.
On August 15, Cabinet approved Shs666.85 billion to finance the New Security Information System (NSIS). This was scheduled to commence in June 2023 to August 2024.