At least 300 or more people are seeking a certificate of good
conduct from the National Central Bureau commonly known as Interpol –Uganda
Charles Birungi, the acting Director Interpol, says that on average they attend
to 300 people mostly female seeking to be cleared to go for employment in the Middle
Birungi adds that due to the overwhelming numbers, they have been working even
on Saturdays since October last year. He adds that they have also adjusted
opening and closing hours from 7 am to 6 pm. previously, the offices would open
at 8 am and close at 5 pm.
The 300 people being attended to every day translate to 1,800 every week and
7,200 certificates of good conduct being issued out every month. Birungi
explains that their records indicate most of the people seeking Interpol
clearance show the Middle East as their final destination.
Certificate of good conduct, according to Birungi, is increasingly being
demanded by not only embassies but also international universities and organizations.
“We have people who come here to get cleared even though they are
not going abroad. Some international organisation operating here require one to
have a certificate of good conduct before he or she is given a job,” Birungi
To get a certificate of good conduct, a person must have a National ID for the
case of Ugandans or a Passport for foreigners and must attach a bank slip
showing payment of 76,000 shillings.
This year is likely to have the highest number of certificates of good conduct
issued out. In 2019, Interpol issued out 59,356 certificates of Good Conduct
amounting to 2.9 Billion shillings.
But if the numbers keep surging, Interpol will have issued 86,400
or more certificates by December 31, 2021.
Birungi says the process takes five to seven days purposely to
ensure the person does not have criminal records both locally and
internationally. The big numbers flocking Interpol seeking to be cleared are
attributed to the seven months when countries had put travel bans in a bid to
prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Most countries implemented travel restrictions as advised by World Health Organization to curtail Covid19 spread. Uganda went to lockdown in March and
relaxed the restriction in phases. However, the Airport was opened in October.
“We sometimes get emergencies and we have to clear a person in one
day. We have people who need treatment abroad and we also have those who have
been admitted to international universities and a certificate of good conduct
is needed at the last minutes. We also have scenarios where people go for job
interviews without knowing that a certificate of good conduct would be needed.
Someone comes and explains with evidence and you can’t let him lose the job,”
//cue in “when you are…
Cue out “… per day”//
On allegations of applicants being asked to pay money to get their certificates
in time, Birungi admits that such allegations have been there even before he
came to steer Interpol. He, however, says no person has officially complained
so that they can take action against police officers demanding and receiving
Joseph Kato is currently a Master's candidate at Makerere University. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication from Kampala International University, a Diploma in Journalism and he's also a graduate in Guidance and Counseling.