The Uganda National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA) has notified all citizens that the presentation of expired national IDs will be mandatory during the renewal process, which is set to begin later this year.
According to officials, the government plans to conduct another mass enrollment in which all citizens who have never registered will be registered and those with expired national identification cards will have their cards renewed.
This comes after a large number of citizens’ identification cards will expire from this year to next year.
However, prior to the exercise, the government revealed that it has been discovered that several Ugandans have lost their national IDs and have not made any effort to replace them, while others continue to use their IDs as mortgages for getting loans from money lenders and at the moment they do not have them.
During a press conference on Monday, Osbone Mushabe, the registration authority’s spokesperson, stated that one of the proposals under consideration is for people to bring their old national IDs in order to access the new ones with new features.
“ It is important to know that it very risky for any citizen out there not to be having a national ID at this moment yet it is crucial in accessing key government services or even other services like banking among others,” he said
“Our maiden call to all Ugandans who have lost their national IDs to have them replaced as soon as possible to avert any challenges that may arise during the mass renewal exercise since the old cards will be required for one to get a new one,” Osbone added.
In case that proposal goes through, this implies that every citizen will have to present their identification cards they acquired earlier.
Meanwhile, the government has reiterated its earlier warning to Ugandans who have continued to obtain loans by mortgaging their national IDs that it is illegal, citing Section 69 of the Registration of Persons Act, which states that the national ID remains the property of the government regardless of how much the details are yours.
“Therefore it is prudent for such people to stop using their IDs in such away such that when the mass exercise starts all citizens have their old cards which will be handed over.” said the spokesperson
Further, all citizens who lost their cards have been advised to report to police and proceed with the right procedure to renew because renewal will end as soon as the mass enrollment starts.