The National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) has warned Ugandans against presenting their IDs as security for obtaining loans.
According to NIRA, money lenders who have been retaining National Identification Cards as security for loans issued out to individuals are advised to stop such illegal practices that violate the rights of the cardholders.
”The public is encouraged to report to any nearest NIRA Office, any person who has retained their national identification card as security/collateral,” NIRA said.
National identification cards are vital government-issued documents that serve as proof of identity and citizenship.
This come few months after police warned against the increased misuse of National IDs as collateral, especially in Buwenge district, Busoga Region, Dokolo and Amolatar district in Lango sub-region, and in the Greater Kampala area.
”As you are all aware, National IDs have no economic or monetary value and are supposed to be used exclusively for identification purposes. Therefore, any act of confiscation, removing, taking or handing over a National ID, as collateral is illegal, as it denies the owner, the ability to use their National ID for identification while traveling or when conducting other transactions,” warned Police through its mouth piece Fred Enanga.
”We would like to call upon anyone whose National ID was used as collateral or confiscated to report to the nearest police for further assistance,” added Enanga.
He further stated that under the Registration of Persons Act, Section 77 (b), it is an offence if a person without authority deprives or dispossesses a holder of his or her national identification card or alien’s identification card; under Sec. 77 (e) unlawfully keeps or takes possession of a national identification card or alien’s identification card that belongs to another person; and section 77 (f), is in possession of more than one national identification card or aliens’ identification card that is intended to show the person’s identity, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding forty-eight (48) currency points or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both.
”All money lenders should converse themselves with regulatory do’s and don’ts by the Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority,” added Enanga, ”In their guidelines, a money lender shall not take a National ID, passport, warrant card, or other documents establishing the identity or nationality of the holder, bank savings, ATM cards and security codes for the ATM cards, as collateral for money borrowed.”