Diaspora Ugandans Granted Online Registration for National IDs

Ugandan expatriates residing abroad will have the opportunity to digitally register for new or renewed National IDs as the government prepares to launch mass enrollment this June, announced Minister of State for Internal Affairs, David Muhoozi.

The government has initiated the necessary steps for the large-scale enrollment and renewal of National Identity Cards (IDs), including the recruitment of personnel to oversee the process, scheduled for this month.

Addressing concerns raised by Members of Parliament (MPs) regarding the impending exercise, Minister Muhoozi stated that recruitment advertisements will be issued on 15 February, with shortlisting, interviews, and hiring expected to be finalized by 30 March 2024.

“The updated system will enable online pre-registration and registration at embassies, with NIRA conducting outreach campaigns in selected countries with sizable Ugandan populations,” Muhoozi informed during the plenary session chaired by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa on Wednesday, 14 February 2024.

In efforts to prevent the improper registration of foreigners for Ugandan IDs, Muhoozi emphasized the deployment of relevant security personnel, including Government Security Officers (GISO) and Professional Intelligence Officers (PISO).

“To address concerns for individuals with disabilities, such as those lacking fingerprints, alternative biometrics such as iris and facial recognition will be utilized to ensure all eligible Ugandans obtain an ID,” Muhoozi assured.

Regarding the Maragoli people’s constitutional recognition, expressed by Kiryandongo District Woman Representative Helen Kahunde, Muhoozi advised interim measures for acquiring citizenship through registration to facilitate the issuance of IDs and passports.

Regarding Ugandans of Rwandan descent, Muhoozi affirmed their recognition as citizens and adherence to constitutional guidelines for enrollment.

The minister cautioned against illegal practices like using IDs as collateral for loans, affirming ongoing efforts by the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) to enhance card verification by third parties, thereby minimizing the need for retaining physical IDs.