NIDS is a win!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

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Dear Editor,

With the uproar about the just-passed national identification system (NIDS) Bill I can't help but to attempt to look beyond the smokescreen. In the headlines, from the outset, what we have seen is chaos and controversy; many social groups, churches and non-government organisations have stood against the NIDS, but I dare them all to look at what we stand to gain.

The system under which we now operate cannot continue; it is counterproductive and is a major hurdle on our way to Vision 2030.

One of the major challenges faced by the police and other security agencies is that we don't know who the criminals are. How often have we heard, “The police are now searching for a man known only as Ragga, Shotta or Dread.” These individuals continue to function as part of our society, no stable address, no stable job, and no one knows who they are or where they come from. What currently persists is a system that leaves room for individuals to parade multiple identities or, even worse, no identity at all. To demand that our security forces maintain law and order in a population of unknowns is unfair.

What we stand to gain from NIDS is simply a leg up on crime.

Yes, we may, in the initial stages, lose the privacy we so desperately cling to, but at some point we must acknowledge that our blanket of privacy also covers dangerous criminals.

The cliché says knowledge is power; that hasn't changed.We must know who our neighbours are. We must give each other the right to know who the man sitting next to you in traffic is.

Privacy, that is just one of the sacrifices we must make as we attempt to find the straw that will break the camel's back. Maybe, just maybe, we are moving closer to getting a grip on crime.


Tajae Anderson




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