Govt Set to Issue National Identity Cards to Prison Inmates

Inmates at Nyamushekyera prison in Bushenyi district during the visit of the Principal Judge, Yorokamu Bamwine.

Government is set to roll out a massive registration and issuance of National Identification cards to prison inmates across the country.

This was revealed by the Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Mario Obiga Kania while interfacing with legislators on Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs, chaired by the Amorator Woman MP, Doreen Amure.

Obiga’s submission came after Members of Parliament on the committee asked him to clarify on whether government had plans of registering inmates to have national identity cards.

In his response, the Minister informed the MPs that the law does not bar government from issuing IDs to prisoners, but added that the Ministry of Internal Affairs still awaits the National Information and Registration Authority (NIRA) to finalize with a number of modalities before they roll out the exercise.

“This matter has been raised before in this committee as well as the committee on human rights. There is no law that bars people in prison from getting identity cards. They are Ugandans and are treated as Ugandans except that their location is in a particular place,” Obiga said.

The Minister said that there are still other categories of Ugandans that NIRA is yet to issue IDs and that the necessary arrangements are being done.

“At the appropriate time, modalities will be discussed with the prison authorities since there are regulations to do with the entry and exist, and identification of people within prisons”.

The Commissioner of Prisons, Johnson Byabashaija said that the issuance of national IDs to inmates is high on the agenda and will be done as soon as possible.

“Prisons are among the categories to be handled by NIRA, as well as those in the diaspora. One of our members is part of the NIRA steering committee and we shall be the next category,” Byabashaija said.

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