Gov’t dragged to court over mandatory use of  national IDs by elderly to access SAGE cash

A group of civil society organisations have dragged the Ugandan government to court over its insistence on demanding for national IDs before elderly persons can access Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE).

Government in February revealed that a total of 54,559 older persons would miss out on the monthly government cash handouts because they do not have national IDs.

On Monday a coalition of civil society organisations including the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights(ISER),Unwanted Witness(UW) and the Health Equity and Policy Initiative(HEAP)  dragged the Attorney General and the  National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) to court seeking to have the manner in which the elderly access SAGE cash and other services changed.

These argue that their research findings from reports, interviews and published statements established that the digital national identification system has  the effect of excluding women and other older persons from accessing some of the crucial services in the country, noting that there is need to change in the policy that emphasizes the use of national IDs to access several services.

“The guaranteed right to social security protection of the older persons under the constitution and the National Council for Older Persons Act 2013 , the access to the SAGE benefits by eligible older persons under the Ministry of Gender has been unfairly  and unjustly impeded by use of the national identification register as the primary data source and only means of identification,” the CSOs say in the case.

These also argue that the use of the national ID register as the primary data source and only means of identification for access to SAGE case by older persons is exclusionary and violates the right to social security protection of older persons contrary to Articles 8A, 20, 21, 22 and 45 of the Constitution and objectives 7 and 14 of the National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy.

Promising to present a total of 37 elderly persons, the CSOs also argue that many other senior citizens have been denied other services like medical care in health facilities due to lack of national IDs.

Declaration

The CSOs want court to declare that the use of the national identification register as the primary data source and only means of identification under section 65(1)(j) and 66 of the Registration of Persons Act 2015 to prove nationality is a violation of the right to non-discrimination.

“The applicants seek declaration and orders of the court that the use of the national identification register as the primary data source and only means of identification under  section 65(1)(j) and 66 of the Registration of Persons Act 2015 to access SAGE benefits  by older persons and public health services  is exclusionary and violates the right to health contrary to articles  8A, 20, 21, 22 and 45 of the Constitution and objectives 7 and 14 of the National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy,” the court documents read in part.

 

 

Reader's Comments

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST STORIES

Ful-harm leave United in pain
sports By admin
5 hours ago
Ful-harm leave United in pain
Bukomansimbi positions to reap from Muhoozi visit
politics By Zainab Namusaazi Ssengendo
6 hours ago
Bukomansimbi positions to reap from Muhoozi visit
France expels 'radical' Tunisian imam
global-watch By admin
9 hours ago
France expels 'radical' Tunisian imam