Botswana thwarting illegal Zimbabwean immigrates by electronic ID cards

By Toneo T Rutsito
Among the chief suspected reasons, Botswana will be introducing an electronic National ID Card to thwart cases of fake Identification cards whch of late have been proliferating in the country, with a bulk of those coming from Zimbabweans.
Screws will be tightened as African countries are seriously adopting technologies.
Botswana plans to introduce an electronic national identity card by 2016, in a bid to minimise challenges faced by the current identification documents such as forgery and production delays.

The country’s director of civil registration department Neo Lepang addressed the media on the multi-million pula project that intends converting national identity cards to digital.

“The development is anticipated to start in 2016 or before, if things go according to our plan,” said Lepang.

“Currently it takes 14 days for an ID to be produced due to a number of factors but the new system will shorten the time to a few days, including delivery of the cards to the public.”

Lepang said government has already approved the proposal. Meanwhile, Lepang has said the project has moved to a planning stage.

“My officers are busy with logistics and strategies on how the old ID card will be phased out to pave way for the new one,” said Lepang.

Police, hospital and financial institutions are among those expected to be linked with the system for new electronic cards.

According to Lepang, government has also sourced funding.

Last year, Botswana deported scores of Zimbabwean nationals who had been living in the country with fraudulently obtained national identification cards.
Millions of Zimbabweans are illegally staying or working in regional countries since the serious economic crisis which picked around 2008 leading to the scrapping of the Zimbabwean dollar to the current multi currency system as the Zimbabwean dollar deeply nose dived.

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