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Govt Dragged to Court Over Mandatory Use of National IDs By Elderly to Access Sage Cash

By Melanie Aanyu,

A group of civil society organization’s 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 organization’s 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.

They also argue that the use of the national ID register as the 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.