Ugandans in Diaspora should petition the constitutional Court over Dual Citizenship law


I was looking at this Ugandan dual citizenship law, that’s about two years old or less, and I think there’s a constitutional argument that the diaspora should take up. I will be glad to get thoughts on this.Here is the citizenship law on the website of Directorate of Citizenship & Immigration Control:

http://www.immigration.go.ug/page/ugandan-citizenship

It’s amazing the typing errors that are on such an official website.Under this law, anybody who takes up citizenship of another country loses Ugandan citizenship and has to reply. But my argument is that if the country that accepts the person’s new citizenship does not compel him/her to renounce his citizenship that and that person does not renounce his original citizenship, that he/she acquired by birth or decent, then nobody has a right to take it away. Just because it’s a law does not mean that is just.

Under the same law, a child born of Ugandan parents living abroad and naturally acquires citizenship either by virtue of birth or parents now being citizens of another country is considered a non-citizen and is not eligible to apply for Ugandan citizenship until he/she is 18 years of age because they are considered minors. This child can only study in Uganda or conduct business on a foreigners’ permit. I think there’s a flaw in this. This child did not choose to lose Ugandan citizenship and the state should not take it from him/her until he/she reaches of age and chooses to renounce it.

Besides, there’s the application fee of US $400 to re-acquire it. Yes you heard me right, it’s in US dollars.I think the law-makers didn’t apply their minds broadly.

For instance nobody can ever get up and declare to another that “from now, that’s not your mother.” It’s only if a person decides that from a certain point, he/she will not recognize somebody as their mother. Therefore that law does not and cannot stand.

The bottom line in my opinion is that nobody has a right to take away my citizenship and its accompanying rights unless I renounce it. Apartheid in S Africa designed similar laws, yes they were laws, but they didn’t stand.The Ugandans who are paying money to re-acquire their natural citizenship are doing it out of either ignorance or fear.

Written by:

Stephen Twinoburyo

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