Letters to the Editor

Maybe ZOSO will unearth more than it intends

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

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Dear Editor,

I have been listening out to hear the details of what has happened with the new zones of special operations (ZOSO) programme. And the news has been varied.

But, for me, the most intriguing discussion has been this matter of IDs.

I have encountered it on different occasions, but did not really think about it: There are many Jamaicans who are largely undocumented. They have no identification. Who knows that they exist? Some people do not even have a copy of their birth certificate. Yes, I know that's not an ID; I'm just referencing it.

Too many Jamaicans exist under the radar, that is part of the reason we cannot do proper planning.

Too many Jamaicans go about without making a footprint, but own assets. They have no bank account, no tax registration number, no utility bills in their names, they don't even bother to transfer 'ded lef' land to their names. A country cannot be properly run this way.

It is important that people are a part of the country's network. We shouldn't have to wait on an international donor to give us a grant to do a census — and even then people miss the net. We should know who is in the country, where they are, and what activities they are engaged in. No wonder Jamaica's black market processes possibly as many billions as the regular economy.

All the naysayers can just shut up; people must own IDs. These same people who are suggesting that asking people to have IDs is injustice all fall in line to get passports and walk around with their passports when in foreign countries in the event they are stopped by a white officer. People must get IDs — and not for free.

This ZOSO programme may well draw out those on the administrative fringes of society and cause them to come into the mainstream.

As an aside, I have often wondered why at the scenes of crime, police teams do this grand dusting for fingerprints when there is no database to match it back to. What is it in aid of then? Since we have so many undocumented people — and I will push my neck out to say that they may well be the ones involved in illegal activity — how are we going to truly catch who we are looking for?

This ZOSO programme has an element called 'Build' (clear, hold, build). Hopefully the Government will bring in agencies to register those found to be without IDs; whether it is Electoral Office of Jamaica or passport office, or wherever.

Afronose

bigzy_2000@yahoo.com

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