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Uganda’s NIRA Contemplates Mandatory Surrender of Old IDs for Advanced Mass Enrollment”

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The National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA) is contemplating a bold move ahead of the upcoming mass national ID enrollment in Kampala, Uganda. The proposal suggests that all Ugandans must surrender their current cards before receiving new ones. This initiative aims to streamline the process and address issues arising from lost or misused cards, often pledged as loan collateral.

As the current IDs issued in 2014 near their ten-year expiration, a modernization plan includes advanced features like DNA integration. Concerns about card loss, misplacement, and misuse, particularly in loan transactions, have prompted NIRA to consider a unique prerequisite for obtaining new IDs.

NIRA spokesperson Osborne Mushabe explained that presenting the old ID would be a mandatory step in acquiring the new one. This approach aims to facilitate data verification, prevent ID duplication, and promote responsible ID ownership. Mushabe acknowledged the substantial number of lost or pledged cards, urging prompt replacement to avoid complications during the enrollment process.

It’s important to note that this proposal is still pending clearance. Mushabe also cautioned against the illegal use of national IDs as collateral for loans, particularly from moneylenders. He emphasized the need for citizens to refrain from such practices, ensuring that when the mass enrollment begins, all individuals possess their old cards for the required handover.

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