Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Ugandans in South Africa are now able to apply and receive National Identity Cards-IDs and passports while there, Uganda Radio Network-URN has learnt. Until recently, Ugandans in South Africa had to travel back home to apply and receive the travel documents.
However, Uganda’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Barbara Nekesa, says they have since extended the services to South Africa.
“In collaboration with the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), we brought ID registration services nearer to you. However we are dismayed by some of you who are bent on de-campaigning this noble cause,” said Nekesa.
Adding that, “As a mission we decided to ignore them (persons de-campaigning the process), for it is them who will suffer the consequences of not having legal ID. There are many other areas where we can work together to solve whatever problems we may have.”
She was speaking during the commemoration of Uganda’s 57th independence anniversary held at Uganda’s High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa. Nekesa said Uganda was one of the few countries that issue passports at selected missions.
“Those who have approached us can testify that we are always available to render service to whoever walks into the Mission irrespective of color, faith, tribe, political affiliation,” she said.
Nekesa explained that they had agreed with NIRA that the applicants fill the required forms through the embassy, which information would be transferred to Kampala for the printing of the National IDs.
On the issue of seeking endorsement from the LC1 and DISO signatures, the mission says the association chairpersons and embassy officials would help confirm one’s citizenship.
Joshua Kivuna, the Minister Counselor, said Mission staff had been trained on how to capture data for issuance of IDs.
The officials would collect the IDs and pass them to the applicants from the Mission in South Africa.
However, several Ugandans were opposed to the registration claiming that it would expose them to arrest by government. Kivuna said that although NIRA had promised to deliver the first batch of IDs within three months, this hasn’t happened.
“There has been a delay in the transfer of data. The IDs will come; we pray for some patience, and hope they will be delivered soon,” he said.
Irene Jogole, who was posted to the Mission as the Immigration Attaché this month, said she was starting with assessing how to re-start processing and issuing passports to Ugandans following the recall of the old passports for the new East African ones.
She also said that the Mission will be in position to issue visas to persons holding South African passports wishing to travel to Uganda.