By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
A few weeks ago, The Council for Banyarwanda led by Frank Gashumba came out to claim that some government authorities in Uganda are segregating against people from the Banyarwanda tribe, and that some of them have been denied crucial documents like National identity cards and passports.
Due to this, the council suggested the tribe change their name from Banyarwanda to Abavandimwe so that they could detach from the perception of the majority of Ugandans that they are nationals of Rwanda. The Ministry of Internal Affairs has refuted this claim, which was publicised in the media.
During a press conference at the Police Headquarters in Naguru this morning, Jacob Siminyu, the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Internal Affairs has said that the ministry has not denied any single legitimate Ugandan a passport, adding that the problem stems from the fact that some people do not know the process of legitimizing their citizenship.
According to Siminyu, a person is a citizen of Uganda by birth if one or all of their grandparents was one of the indigenous tribes that were in Uganda by the completion of the demarcation of national borders in 1926.
This means that just because you were born in Uganda does not automatically mean you are a citizen of Uganda. If you have lived in Uganda for 20 years, and you have been in Uganda in the last 24 months without moving out, then you qualify to be a Ugandan by naturalisation, Siminyi explained.
People whose parents came into Uganda after 1926 and settled in Uganda, and have lived all their lives in Uganda must provide their birth certificates to the Ministry when they are applying for these documents and will be granted citizenship by either naturalisation or registration. It is the right of every Ugandan citizen to be issued a passport and national ID and any other identification document.
Siminyi also asked people to first make appointments before going to the Ministry for their passports so that they can be promptly served.
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