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Opinions of Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Columnist: Ken Boemah

Citizen identity

It's unfortunate as a country we only cry about correct identity when elections are with us.

In essence, true national identity must be a concern that should permeate our national life - from birth to the grave. Correct national identity must be established before a child goes to a crèche, before a person opens a bank account, before one enters any form of employment in the country, just to mention a few.

For us as a nation to get this right, we must start registration at birth.

When a child is born at the hospital the process should begin from there.

When a child is born outside the hospital, the Assemblyman should be able to collect such data in the locality and take such data to appropriate departments, for example, birth and deaths for registration. As soon as a person dies same information should enter the system for records to be reconciled.

It's my belief that when we follow the above, it will assist in getting correct national citizenship data.

Just to mention the case of South Africa below:

The first six digits (YYMMDD) are based on your date of birth – 23 January 1988 is 880123.

The next four digits (SSSS) are used to define your gender – females are assigned numbers in the range 0000-4999 and males from 5000-9999.

The next digit three digits(C) show if you are an SA citizen – 0 – or a permanent resident – 086 or 187

That is my brief.

Ken Boemah

Kenboemah@gmail.com

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