REGISTRATION OF UGANDANS IN THE DIASPORA FOR NATIONAL IDENTITY CARDS
Following concerns raised by our Missions abroad on the above captioned subject, the Hon. Minister for Internal Affairs has communicated the Ministry of Internal Affairs' formal policy on registration matters of registering Ugandan citizens abroad.
On 1st November 2013, Cabinet approved the Implementation Strategy for the Mass Registration of Citizens of Uganda of 16 years and above. The immediate/short term need was for the project to register those who would participate in the 2016 general elections. In addition, the strategy set out to harmonise the existing legal framework on the Registration of Persons and among which was the need to provide for the registration of Uganda citizens in the Diaspora at our Missions abroad. Please note that the legal framework at the time of the mass registration exercise did not provide for the registrations of citizens while in the Diaspora. On 26th March 2015, the Registration of Persons Act No 4 of 2015 became law. It among others provides for Registration Centres Abroad thus official premises of Uganda's Missions abroad shall serve as registration centres for the purpose of registering citizens of Uganda to identify them and issue them with national identification numbers and national identity cards. The law further creates and mandates the National Identification Registration Authority Board to designate other locations outside Uganda as registration centres after consultation with the Minister responsible for Foreign Affairs. The process of operationalising this new law is now underway. The Board has been sworn in and will soon embark on its work. It is hoped that the Ministry of Internal Affairs together with the Authority will initiate discussions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to put in place modalities of ensuring that all Uganda citizens in the Diaspora are registered and issued with national identity cards.
This is therefore to request you communicate to the Ugandan Diaspora to be patient as the above modalities are put in place. A national identity card is a right and Government of Uganda will do whatever is possible to incrementally take steps to identify and register her people abroad.
Fred Moses Mukhooli