By Daniel K. Kalinaki

Most ordinary folks I know are honest. They have no problem registering their phone numbers to their identities – they have done it before, after all, and expect that so has everyone else. How then is it possible that, in the aftermath of the recent crime wave, it was discovered that some people had unregistered SIM cards?

How is a passport not a ‘valid’ form of identification while a national ID is, when you use a passport as proof of identity in order to get a national ID? And why does one require an LC1 letter in order to get a passport when, strictly speaking, there are no LCs?


And if the National Identification Number is to be our lifelong identifier, why give access to such vital data to private entities such as telecoms without clear safeguards for privacy? And if non-Ugandans already have Ugandan national IDs what, really, are we protecting? Barn door, you forgot to say bye to the horse!

Only time will tell if the SIM card re-registration, and the mass surveillance it is designed to facilitate, will help reduce crime, even as a by-the-way. But if the conduct of the exercise is any indicator of competence, we would come second in a one-country race.