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    Govt Orders Immediate Return of National IDs Confiscated by Money Lenders

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    Govt Orders Immediate Return of National IDs Confiscated by Money Lenders
    • June 28, 2024 • 26 days ago
    in summary
    Government has reiterated its directive for money lending institutions to return National Identity Cards (IDs) held as collateral, deeming the practice illegal. Minister Dr. Chris Baryomunsi emphasized that violators face severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment. This move aims to protect citizens' rights and ensure access to essential identification for daily activities.

    The Ugandan government has reiterated its directive that all money lending institutions must immediately return National Identity Cards (IDs) that they have confiscated from their clients. This renewed mandate underscores the government's commitment to curbing the illegal practice of using IDs as collateral for loans.

    In April 2023, the Uganda Police issued a stern warning against the confiscation of National IDs by money lenders, declaring it an illegal act that impedes individuals from using their IDs for essential activities, such as travel and various transactions. This stance was reinforced by the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) in September 2022, which advised citizens against using their National IDs as security for loans.

    Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister of Information and National Guidance, highlighted the gravity of this issue, stressing that violators of this directive would face severe legal consequences. He stated that anyone found guilty of this offense could be subject to a fine, imprisonment for up to three years, or both. This firm stance aims to deter money lending institutions from continuing this unlawful practice.

    Addressing the media at the Uganda Media Centre, Dr. Baryomunsi announced that the Cabinet had issued a fresh directive demanding the immediate return of any National IDs held by money lenders. He emphasized that it is unlawful for anyone to require an ID as collateral for a loan, urging all money lenders and Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (Saccos) to comply without delay.

    The government's directive is aimed at safeguarding citizens' rights and ensuring that they have uninterrupted access to their identification documents, which are crucial for daily activities and legal transactions. The misuse of National IDs as loan collateral not only violates legal standards but also places undue hardship on individuals who need their IDs for various legitimate purposes.

    Dr. Baryomunsi's announcement is a clear message to money lenders that the government will not tolerate the illegal practice of ID confiscation. The directive also aims to educate the public on the proper use of National IDs and to encourage citizens to report any instances of this unlawful practice.

    This measure is part of a broader effort by the government to ensure that financial practices within the country adhere to legal and ethical standards. By enforcing this directive, the government seeks to create a fairer and more just financial environment for all Ugandans.

    In summary, the government's renewed directive serves as a stern warning to money lending institutions and reinforces the importance of protecting citizens' rights to their identification documents. It aims to eliminate the illegal practice of using National IDs as collateral and to ensure that all citizens can access their IDs for necessary daily activities and transactions. 

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