Ugandan-Banyarwanda community petitions Parliament over segregation

The Ugandan-Banyarwanda community in the country has petitioned Parliament over a host of grievances imploring the House to intervene and investigate the segregation and violation of their human rights.

Ugandan-Banyarwanda community petitions Parliament over segregation
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The Ugandan-Banyarwanda community in the country has petitioned Parliament over a host of grievances imploring the House to intervene and investigate the segregation and violation of their human rights.

In a petition presented to the House by Hon. Joseph Ssewungu (NUP, Kalungu West County), the community that comes together under the Council for Abavandimwe, is aggrieved that although they are recognised by the Constitution as an indigenous tribe, the National Identity Registration Authority (NIRA) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs have denied them the right to possess Ugandan citizenship documents.

Ssewungu presented the petition to the House presided over by Speaker, Anita Among, on Tuesday 16 April 2024. He said that many have been denied jobs, lost opportunities to study abroad and had complications in movements across the borders. 

“Many Ugandan-Banyarwanda have returned from abroad for either study or work to renew their passports, acquire or renew their national identity cards and have been told that they do not qualify for Ugandan passport or national identity cards. At times this has led to loss of jobs or study opportunities for these persons,” he said.

He explained that they are unable to open bank accounts, register companies and registering telephone lines in their names. 

The legislator was irked that some of them whose passports expired while in the Middle East and other countries are without any assistance from Uganda’s foreign missions and embassies because they are deemed as non-Ugandans.

He also reported that some of them recommended for specialized treatment abroad have been denied such a fundamental right due to failure to substantiate their citizenship.

The MP said that talks with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and NIRA have not yielded positive results.

The petitioners prayed that a relevant committee of Parliament investigates the segregation and violation of their rights, and asked Parliament to urge NIRA and the Ministry of Internal Affairs - Immigration Department issue national identity cards and passports based on their recognition in the 1995 Constitution.

Speaker Among directed the Committee on Internal Affairs to process the petition within 45 days. 

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