Police Restraints Money Lenders from Seizing National ID as Collateral

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The police have stopped money lenders from confiscating National Identity Cards, passports, warrant cards, or other documents as collateral from their clients to borrow money.

SCP Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, said they are concerned about the manner in which lenders often confiscate national IDs from clients to allow them services.

According to the police, several cases have been reported in Buwenge district, Busoga Region, Dokolo and Amolator districts in the 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,” Enanga said.

He added that any act of confiscation, such as removing, taking, or handing over a national ID as collateral, is illegal, as it denies the owner the ability to use it for identification while traveling or when conducting other transactions.

Enanga advised those whose national IDs were used as collateral or confiscated to report to the nearest police station for further assistance.

“Under the Registration of Persons Act, Section 77(b), it is an offense if a person without authority deprives or dispossesses a holder of his or her national identification card or an alien’s identification card,” he revealed.

He advised money lenders to get conversant with the dos and don’ts of the Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority guidelines, which demand that they not take a national identity card, 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.

“Under the Registration of Persons Act, Section 77(b), it is an offense if a person without authority deprives or dispossesses a holder of his or her national identification card or an alien’s identification card,” he revealed.

Under Section 77 (e), a person who unlawfully keeps or takes possession of a national identification card or an alien’s identification card that belongs to another person or, under Section 77 (f), is in possession of more than one national identification card or an alien’s identification card that is intended to show the person’s identity, commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding forty-eight (48) currency points or imprisonment not exceeding three years, or both.

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