Police have issued a stern warning to micro money lenders in the habit of confiscating National Identity Cards from members of the public as collateral for loans.

While addressing journalists on Monday, the Uganda Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga observed that people are constantly losing IDs in illegal transactions as compared to using them for their intended purpose.

Enanga says the vice is dominant in Busoga, Lango and Greater Kampala areas in the districts of Buwenge, Dokolo, Amolatar and Kampala respectively. He warned that 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.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,” said Enanga.

He explained that anyone found liable for confiscating or using another person’s National ID’s for collateral purposes attracts a fine of 960,000 shillings or three months imprisonment of both.

“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 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 offense and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding forty-eight (48) currency points or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both.”

The police Spokesman has tasked money lenders to get acquainted with the rules and regulations under the Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority. He says the guidelines prohibit money lenders from holding people’s passports, ATM and warrant cards or any other documents as collateral.

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