NIRA Speaks out on Theft of National ID Data Claims

The National Identification and Registration Authority (Nira) has spoken out on media reports that national ID data had been stolen.

Nira’s clarification is in response to a report carried by government-owned daily The New Vision at the weekend titled ‘Panic as National ID Data is Stolen’.

The headline to The New Vision story

According to Nira, The New Vision article is both misleading and inaccurate.

“The article is premised on a case currently under investigation by the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) of the Police in which a city businessman is alleged to have lost Shs 51m shillings through a fraudulent payment to a one Norbert Kamwebaze,” Nira’s statement on the article reads in part.

Nira also expresses worry that the article’s headline “has serious implications for national security if not immediately corrected”.

“In addition we note that the most of the adduced supporting information in the article is not only inaccurate, but also a serious misrepresentation and reflects lack of understanding of how the national ID data is gathered, stored, shared and managed. We believe the authors of the article could have obtained the right information and informed the public better if they had good intentions.”

On the identity of Kamwebaze, the focus of The New Vision article, Nira suggests that the mismatch between a right name and a wrong National Identification Number (NIN) is “a clear case of forgery”.

“The National Identification Number (NIN) CM8605210PADGW mentioned in the story does not exist at all in the National ID Register (NIR). This is therefore a clear case of forgery and does not amount to identity theft as is suggested in the article,” Nira further clarifies in its statement.

“A search of the National ID Register has been done to establish the right NIN of the mentioned Norbert Kamwebaze. Whereas the name indeed exists, his right NIN is different from the one quoted in the article.”

Marion Ayebazibwe