Breaking

Judiciary Starts Returning National IDs to Sureties

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.
19 Jan 2022 15:33
The Judiciary Public Relations Officer Jamson Karemani.

Audio 2

The Judiciary has started returning copies of original National Identification Cards to sureties.

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 Judge. 

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 with courts.

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.

//Cue in: “Iam happy to… Cue out: ..to receive them”.// 

Luganda Audio

//Cue in: “Purinsipo gyagyi yafuna… Cue out:  ….ayidizi zabwe”.//

Karemani 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.

According to Karemani, since the Principal Judge’s directive, no judicial officer has been demanding an original ID.

Karemani 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 Karemani.

The 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.

Images 1

Keywords