By Vivian Agaba & Henry Sekanjako
Ugandans in the Diaspora are set to be registered for the issuance of the Uganda national identity cards before 2016, an official revealed.
John Eresu, who is a member of National Citizenship and Immigration Board, said this in an interview with New Vision.
“The board is rolling out a process on how to ensure Ugandans abroad, just like the rest of Ugandans here, get their national identity cards very soon,” he said.
“One of our strategic plans is to use our embassies in other countries, have Ugandans from there register and we produce their identity cards.
“Alternatively, Ugandans living abroad can also register when they come back home since the registration exercise will be on going, have their information stored in the data base system and their cards can be produced.”
The board member said it is automatic that they get their identity cards since they are Ugandans by birth and entitled to national identification.
For Ugandans with citizenship in other countries, Eresu pointed out that the ministry of internal affairs will record all their details, and enter them into the data system so that they get their national identity cards without discriminating against them.
He noted that after the pilot scheme where 30,000 national identity cards have been produced and ready for distribution, the ministry would carry out a massive registration for the IDs where all Ugandans both within and outside the country would be issued with IDs.
Marcellino Bwesigye, the project manager of National ID also stated that the internal affairs ministry is exploring ways on how to help Ugandans living abroad to access their cards.
“We want to first make sure we have registered them, have all their data captured and stored in our data base and then we can make national identity cards for them,” Bwesigye said.
The internal affairs ministry introduced an SMS platform for Ugandans seeking to know the status of their national IDs.
But the provision applies only to people who registered in 2010 during the biometric registration exercise.
Issuance of national IDs kicked off on Monday this week in Kampala, Lira, Buyende and Kasese districts through the directorate of citizenship and immigration control.