Somali Diplomat Faces Jail Over Illegal ID Registration

The Ministry of Internal Affairs is investigating a Somali National over the allegations of illegally and secretly registering Somalis both in Uganda and Somalia to help them acquire Ugandan national identity cards.

Hussein Abukar Hassan with black coat getting out of  court recently
Hussein Abukar Hassan with black coat getting out of court recently

The accused Mr. Hussein Abukar Hassan also claims to be the chairperson of the Somali community in Uganda.

This investigation came after the accused did an interview with a foreign Somali speaking television where he claimed that the government of Uganda had given him authority to register Somalis who want to get Ugandan national identity card.

In a television interview with Universal Television last week, Mr. Hussein claimed, “The government of Uganda has given me the authority to register Somalis who wish to get national identity cards in Uganda.”

Hussein adds that registration is for US Dollars 2000 where 1000 is paid as deposit while the balance is to be paid after getting the national identity card in a period of two-three weeks.

He also claims to have cordial relationship with the government and it is under these circumstances that he was given the deal to register Somalis who are willing to acquire Ugandan National identity cards.

Officials from the Embassy of Somalia in Uganda say that after the Somalis back home watched the news on the television, they made a barrage of phone calls to the embassy in Uganda to confirm if it was true that they could come and get Ugandan citizenship.

“Very many Somalis have called the embassy to come and register for the national identity cards but we are not aware and so we referred the matter to security agencies for verification,” said a Somali embassy official.

The official further added that they reported the matter to the Regional Intelligence Officer Kampala, the area District Internal Security Office and that they notified the office of the city Resident City Commissioner who promised to get back to them on this same matter.

Pamela Ankunda the spokesperson of the Ministry of Internal Affairs which is overseeing the registration exercise under the National Information System said that Mr. Hussein is a conman who will be arrested.

Pamela further said that the exercise which is now ongoing is called Naturalization and is being handled by a special team.

“This is totally different from mass enrolment which was targeting Ugandan citizens by birth”

Ms Pamela added that the exercise is currently being carried out by the Citizens Immigration Board.

“There is no way how a Somali can be part of the registration process because one has to be verified by the verification board to find out if you are truly a Ugandan after spending not less than 20 years. Even if you are Somali and have been here for 20 years, you have to first get sureties from the magistrate’s court to testify that you have been living in Uganda for over 20 years,” she added.

The spokesperson added further that the National Information Center does not know how Hussein acquired the Ugandan National ID which he showed on the TV and revealed that they will investigate under which status he is staying in Uganda.

Ms Ankunda further clarified that the project employed workers who are doing the job and have appointment letters signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

She said that the ministry will work with police to trace and arrest him so he can face the law.

Patrick Onyango the Kampala metropolitan police spokesperson when contacted said that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Information Systems Center are the only organs that employ or recruit workers for the ID registration services.

He added that if Hussein was not verified and recruited by the said organs, he will be arrested and charged accordingly.

This incident follows the police investigations at the Special Investigations Unit in Kireka where Hussein was accused of human trafficking to Kenya, Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo in connivance with some immigration officers at Entebbe airport.

When contacted, Hussein Abukar Hassan declined to comment on the issue.