On July 7, 2021, Principal Judge Dr. Flavian Zeija issued a directive to all judicial officers to release original IDs for sureties in their possession saying that the law doesn’t require them to deposit IDs with the court as a condition for granting bail.
has started returning copies of original National Identification Cards to
On July 7, 2021, Principal Judge Dr. Flavian Zeija issued a directive to all
judicial officers to release original IDs for sureties in their possession
saying that the law doesn’t require them to deposit IDs with the court as a condition
for granting bail.
“By this circular, judicial officers ordering the retention of National
Identification Cards of sureties are reminded to make bail orders that reflect
a difference between the accused persons and their sureties,” wrote Principal
He added that "it also serves to direct all courts that are holding
original national identification cards of sureties to review such orders, in
favor of the release of the said (retaining only photocopies thereof), and
obtaining alternative security, and or documentation to ensure that the accused
returns to court until the final determination of the matter (s)."
In an interview, the Judiciary Public Relations Officer Jamson Karemani said
that the exercise started last week. He says that they have pinned on notice
boards of various courts, the names of the people who have deposited their IDs
At the Buganda
Road Chief Magistrates Court, on January 11, 2022, they released a list of more
than 1,000 people whose IDs had been deposited in court for years.
But according to Karemani, in line with the directive by the Principal Judge, the
Judiciary has opted to first pin names on their court notice boards and if the
owners fail to turn up, they will advertise in newspapers, on Televisions,
radios, or even write to the owners.
says that the owners of the IDs should go to the respective courts where they
deposited them. He adds that in exceptional
circumstances, one might be allowed to collect it on behalf of the owner, but
with sufficient documents to prove that he or she has been sent by the owner.
Karemani, since the Principal Judge’s directive, no judicial officer has
been demanding an original ID.
says that the judicial officers are supposed to ask for the National ID only to
confirm places of residence of the sureties and the photocopy of the ID should
remain in court.
The Judiciary had delayed complying with the Principal Judge's directive
because of the lockdown imposed by the government due to COVID-19, according to
directive by the Principal Judge to release IDs followed a number of complaints
from court users including Kampala city lawyer Male Mabirizi who said that many
citizens were unable to pursue their rights and undertake their obligations as
citizens in this country for as long as their original identity cards are
retained by a court.