Photographer remanded for altering national and refugee identification cards

Thursday October 17 2019

Mr Joshua Katamba (blue shirt) appear before

Mr Joshua Katamba (blue shirt) appear before magistrate Esther Nahirya of the Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court on Thursday. Photo by Betty Ndagire  

By BETTY NDAGIRE

Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court has remanded a photographer for unlawfully altering National and Refugee Identification Cards.

Court heard from prosecution that the accused, Mr Joshua Katamba, who doubles as businessman altered, modified and made seven people’s Identification cards including one refugee card.

Mr Katamba a resident of Makindye, a Kampala suburb, on Thursday appeared in a court session presided over by magistrate Esther Nahirya, who read to him four counts that include; unlawfully altering National and Refugee Identification Cards, making documents without authority and forgery. He denied all the charges.

Upon Mr Katamba denying the charges, Ms Nahirya told him that he will be free to apply for bail before the Standards Utilities and Wildlife Court that is mandated to handle his matter. Court remanded the accused to Luzira prison until November 1, for further mention.

Prosecution contends that Mr Katamba and others still at large between the months of August and October 10, 2019 at Zaina Textile Centre, in Kampala wilfully and unlawfully altered and modified the information which included the card number on the National Identification Card of Esther Namulondo by inserting other person’s particulars.

The accused and others still on the run in the same months and place, also altered and forged the card number and the Refugee Identification Card of one Malekera Makalulinda and inserted another person’s photograph on this forged refugee’s Identity card.

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On the count of making National Identification Cards, the charge sheet states that between August and October10, 2019 with intent to defraud, Mr Katamba and others without lawful authority or excuse, made National Identification Cards in the name of Namulondo, Solomon Mercy Asiimwe, Bosco Livingstone Mayanja, Ibrahim Kizito, Deborah Apio and Sarah Apio.

Meanwhile the same court has remanded an 18-year old businesswoman until November 1, over vending Airtel and MTN SIM cards near Shoprite at Ben Kiwanuka Street in Kampala.

Ms Agnes Kirabo denied one count of disobeying lawful orders publically issued by the Executive Director of the Uganda Communications Commission and the Inspector General of Police forbidding any sale of SIM cards on streets.

The arrest and charging of Mr Katamba and Ms Kirabo was instigated by the Daily Monitor of October 7, 2019 which exposed that at only Shs50,000, one can easily get a functional SIM card duly registered with mobile money services using a forged identity card.

This revelation left mobile telecom companies, security agencies and the regulator, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), in shock hence acting immediately to stop the use of the impugned identify cards.

bndagire@ug.nationmedia.com

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