Masauni vows to clean up 'rotten' Nida after public complaints

Hamad pic

Home Affairs minister Hamad Masauni addresses residents of Mburahati in Dar es Salaam on July 10, 2024. Flanking him are Ubungo District Commissioner Hassan Bomboko and Dar es Salaam Special Police Zone Commander Jumanne Muliro. PHOTO | MICHAEL MATEMANGA

What you need to know:

  • Home Affairs minister Hamad Masauni vows to clean up the “rot” within the National Identification Authority following widespread public complaints

Dar es Salaam. Home Affairs minister Hamad Masauni on Wednesday vowed to clean up the “rot” within the National Identification Authority (Nida) following widespread public complaints.

Mr Masauni made the remarks after residents of Ubungo in Dar es Salaam voiced a number of grievances, including prolonged delays and bureaucratic hurdles in obtaining national identity cards.

Speaking during a public meeting held at Barafu Street, Mburahati Ward, to address community security concerns, Mr Masauni said complaints related to national identity cards had gone on for too long.

“I didn’t expect that this problem would persist this long. It’s true that there were challenges in the past, but the government has set aside Sh42.5 billion for the production of national ID cards. I don’t understand what’s hindering progress.

“I won’t tolerate a few officials who are tarnishing Nida’s reputation. I promise to clean up the rot within Nida,” he declared.

Mr Masauni assured the gathering that deliberate measures would be taken to enhance service delivery and address long-standing issues people were facing in obtaining national identity cards.

“How come these complaints continue to arise? I first visited the district commissioner’s office in Ubungo and found a long queue at Nida offices and now  I’m  facing the same complaints here. People are often told that  the network is down and other similar excuses,” he said.

Mr Masauni added that he cannot tolerate a few officials who continue to tarnish Nida’s reputation and image and vowed to clean up the “mess” at the authority.

“You all know that my usual approach is to quietly resolve issues within institutions that are under my jurisdiction, but I’m now fed up with Nida. It’s time to act. Let me say this right here. I acknowledge that there is a problem, but I promise to go and clean up the mess within Nida,” he said.

Mr Masauni expressed his disappointment that top Nida officials were absent during his visit despite being expected to be present to respond to people’s questions and complaints.

“They were supposed to attend this meeting to respond to these questions and complaints, but instead, they have locked themselves in their offices, ignoring the people’s plight. I can’t tolerate this,” he said.

Reached for comment, Nida public relations officer Geoffrey Tengeneza said, “I can’t confirm whether my superiors were informed of the minister’s visit to Mburahati because some of us are currently at the Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair.”

Speaking earlier on behalf of local government leaders in Kinondoni District, Mr Lazaro Mwakiposa asked the minister to comment about  prolonged delays residents faced in obtaining their national identity cards.

“Nida is a big problem. People wait for their cards and make regular follow-ups for up to two years. What’s the problem, honourable minister? If there’s an issue, then it should be made clear. We expect services to be  improved so that  people can get their IDs in time. It’s not possible for people to walk around with just ID  numbers all this time,” he said.

Among officials present at the meeting were Ubungo District Commissioner Hassan Bomboko, Dar es Salaam Special Police Zone Commander Jumanne Muliro and Kinondoni Regional Police Commander Mtatiro Kitinkwi.

Mr Masauni also heard concerns about rising gang activity, drug use, and break-ins, particularly at night.

Responding to the security concerns, Mr Muliro promised a change in tack from vehicular to foot patrols to combat crime more effectively.

“We are committed to combating crime and enhancing security measures,” he said.

Regarding the swift release of suspects, Mr Muliro explained that while police prefer to keep suspects in custody, they were legally bound to release them  pending their arraignment in court.

According to Mr Masauni, the government was committed to bolstering security by allocating Sh1.7 trillion to improve police infrastructure and operational capabilities.

“We are making substantial investments to enhance the operational environment of the Police Force, including purchasing vehicles and establishing police stations in every ward nationwide,” he said.