By Our Reporter
Following complaints by Court users over several courts’ request for the National Identification Cards of sureties to be deposited in court until final disposal of criminal cases, the Judiciary Principle Judge Flavian Zeija has ordered all courts to halt and stop the vice.
In a letter copied to all Judges, Registrars, Deputy Registrars, Assistant Registrars, Chief Magistrates, Magistrates Grade I and II, Zeija noted that ordering deposit of National IDs of sureties as a condition for the grant of bail to accused persons doesnot reflect the law hence it’s suspension.
“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 person(s) and their sureties,” she said.
She noted further that most criminal cases take over a month to be disposed of, yet National IDs are required by all Ugandans to undertake day to day business.
“The attendant challenge is that sureties are unable to pursue their rights and undertake their obligations as citizens of this country for as long as their original National Identification Cards are retained by courts,” stated Zeija.
Furthermore, courts that are currently holding Original IDs of sureties have been directed to review the orders, in favor of release of the said with only retaining photocopies and obtaining alternative security or documentation to ensure the accused returns to court until final determination of the matter(s)