What you need to know:
- The issue: Govt processes
- Our view: Our laws also should be drafted in such a way that they anticipate the times, technological developments and digital innovations. Where laws already exist that did not foresee the present challenges, amendments can be considered to address the deficit.
Government has set new terms for land registration and with them, the condition to acquire a post office box and address. While many individuals and institutions have a registered postal address, there are now faster means and reach of delivering information across the country.
Post office boxes are good for pinning down addresses and possibly addressing fraud. However, it is imperative that we update our laws and requirements from time to time to fit in with the current technological advances.
This should apply to all our processes, where we could as much as possible minimize the load of paperwork and cut back on transaction time and possibly cost of doing business in terms of time wasted.
However, while requiring Ugandans to comply with certain rules of registration, the powers that be should also be alive to the challenges of processing the necessary documentation for instance if we need everyone to transact with a national ID, then we should make it as easy as possible to acquire one across the country.
According to Mr James Arinaitwe, the chief executive officer of Posta Uganda, only 90,000 Ugandans have physical postal addresses and yet the number of registered land owners is nearly six times as high at 600,000. There are an estimated 20 million customary landowners.
Land transactions are spread across the country but the services required for registration may not trickle down as far from the centre.
The postal service has also been in a slump due to the growth of other faster, less physical means of communication. By contrast, internet penetration rate stood at 29.1 per cent of the population and there were 27 million mobile cellular connections in 2022 according to datareportal.com
The conditions are ripe for adoption of digital communication and this should start to apply to all other processes stipulated in the law.
Our laws also should be drafted in such a way that they anticipate the times, technological developments and digital innovations. Where laws already exist that did not foresee the present challenges, amendments can be considered to address the deficit.
Most importantly, it is all well to ask the citizenry to comply with the law, the requirements ought to be within the realm of what is possible, easily accessible and also what can be defined as modern means of doing business.