NAMAYINGO: The Deputy Resident District Commissioner (DRDC) of Namayingo, Trevor Solomon Baleke, has issued a stern warning to money lenders operating in the district, cautioning them against confiscating the national identity cards of borrowers who seek their financial services. The proliferation of money lending companies, both in rural and urban areas, has led to growing concerns over their lending practices.
Baleke contends that such actions by money lenders are not only illegal but also a violation of individuals’ privacy rights. He emphasizes that it is unlawful to seize such crucial documents as collateral for loans, as per the 2016 Tier for Microfinance Institutions and Money Lenders Act. This legislation explicitly prohibits the use of bank ATM cards, passports, warrant books, and national IDs as collateral for loans.
“Confiscating national identity cards is illegal and infringes on the privacy of borrowers. We will not tolerate such actions by money lenders,” warns Baleke.
In response to these concerns, the DRDC has instructed the district National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) administrator and the local police to initiate a crackdown on money lenders who have collected these vital documents from borrowers. Baleke has called for the apprehension and prosecution of any money lenders found in possession of individuals’ important documents.
“We are taking decisive action against money lenders who disregard the law. They will face the consequences,” declares Baleke.
He urges those who haven’t retrieved their national identity cards from NIRA offices in Namayingo to do so promptly.
Baleke underscores the significance of national identity cards, particularly for beneficiaries of government programs such as the Parish Development Model (PDM), which aims to transform the lives of Ugandans.
“National identity cards are essential, especially for those participating in government initiatives. Money lenders should explore alternative collateral options that don’t infringe on borrowers’ rights,” states Baleke.
Furthermore, Baleke announced that the cholera outbreak that struck Namayingo district in August has been successfully contained. Over the past fortnight, no new cholera cases have been reported. He attributes this achievement to the vigilance and compliance of the local population, who embarked on a campaign to construct pit latrines. The DRDC has also declared an active search for residents without pit latrines to ensure improved sanitation practices across the district.
“Cholera is primarily caused by poor sanitation and unsafe food handling. We commend the Ministry of Health for its efforts in reinforcing hygiene practices in local communities,” acknowledges Baleke.
He expresses gratitude to the Ministry of Health for its role in distributing chlorine tablets and promoting better hygiene practices, which have significantly contributed to curbing the cholera outbreak in Namayingo.