The Uganda National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) warns against using National ID Cards as loan security, citing the Registration of Persons Act, 2015.
KAMPALA, UGANDA | NOW THEN DIGITAL — The Uganda National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) has issued a stern warning, forbidding the use of National Identification Cards (IDs) as collateral for obtaining loans.
NIRA, the government agency responsible for ID registration and issuance, issued this directive.
Legal Implications and Ownership
NIRA emphasized the legal context of its warning, citing Section 69 of the Registration of Persons Act, 2015, which stipulates that an issued National Identification Card remains the property of the Government of Uganda.
“NIRA would like to draw your attention to Section 69 of the Registration of Persons Act, 2015 which clearly states that an issued National Identification Card remains the property of the Government of Uganda,” the authority said in a public statement.
“National ID cardholders are thus advised to desist from using National Identification Cards as security for obtaining loans.”
“The public is encouraged to report to any nearest NIRA Office, any person who has retained their national identification card as security or collateral. National identification cards are vital government-issued documents that serve as proof of identity and citizenship,” it added.
Advice to ID Cardholders and Money Lenders
The authority advised all National ID cardholders to refrain from using their IDs as security for loan applications.
Furthermore, money lenders who have been accepting National Identification Cards as collateral have been instructed to immediately cease this practice. NIRA highlighted that such practices are illegal and infringe upon the rights of the cardholders.
Reporting Violations Encouraged
NIRA encouraged the public to report any individuals or entities withholding National Identification Cards as security or collateral to the nearest NIRA office. National Identification Cards are essential government-issued documents serving as proof of identity and citizenship.
Background and Recent Incidents
This warning from NIRA follows a recent incident in which an individual, Evans Kukiriza, was arrested by the police in Kampala for breaking into a money lender’s office and stealing 104 national identity cards that had been deposited as collateral.
Earlier this year in April, the police had already cautioned money lenders against using National Identification Cards as collateral security. They emphasized that such practices were not only illegal but also criminal.
Per Section 77 of the Registration of Persons Act, 2015, anyone who unlawfully deprives or dispossesses an ID cardholder of their National Identification Card commits an offense punishable by a fine, imprisonment for up to three years, or both.
— NIRA (@NIRA_Ug) September 13, 2023
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