Being born in Uganda doesn’t automatically make you Ugandan- Internal Affairs Ministry

Kampala – Anybody born in Uganda to parents who are both non-Ugandans is not considered a Ugandan, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has said.

The clarification on Monday follows complaints on social media by a section of people who claim to be Ugandans but say they have been denied passport services by the ministry.

Simon Mundeyi the ministry spokesperson said during a security press briefing at police headquarters in Kampala on Monday that for anyone to be regarded as a Ugandan citizen by birth, atleast one of his/her parents must be Ugandan.

“Anybody born in Uganda whose both parents are non-Ugandans is not considered a citizen of Uganda even if he/she has a birth certificate of Uganda, studied from here, has been socializing here, and speaks the local language with ease,” said Mundeyi

He said that Ugandan laws are different from other countries like the US where anybody who is born in the airspace or within the borders of the country automatically becomes a citizen.

Mundeyi also clarified on the confusion about people who belong to the Banyarwanda tribe that is recognized in Uganda’s constitution. He noted that only those Banyarwanda that were found on Ugandan soil during colonial demarcations of Africa in 1926 belong to that tribe.

“Some people think anybody who arrives from Rwanda belongs to the Banyarwanda tribe of Uganda. The Banyarwanda tribe comprises people who were found here during the colonial demarcations of Africa in 1926. They are found around the areas of Kisoro, Kabale and Kyanika among others. If you can narrate your lineage up to the Banyarwanda who were found here when the colonialists were partitioning Africa, you are a Ugandan of the Banyarwanda tribe. If your ancestors came here after that time, it means you are not a Ugandan,” explained Mundeyi.

Another confusion, Mundeyi said, is with tribes at the Ugandan border for instance the Bagisu at the Uganda-Kenya border, the people on the Congo border, the Sabinys on Kenyan border and the Madis on South Sudan’s border among others.

He said that thorough investigations are done on Ugandans from such areas before they are given passports.

“If you see your passport delaying on account of verification, please just give us time because we don’t want our passports to end up in the hands of non-Ugandans,” said Mundeyi

He noted that the ministry has instituted a strict regime that investigates and verifies citizenship to ensure that Ugandan passsports remain with integrity and are allowed worldwide.

Meanwhile, Mundeyi noted that there are five types of citizenship in Uganda and these include Citizen by Birth, Citizen by Registration, Citizenship due to marriage and Duo citizenship.

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