Mr. Alenyo Marshall, Senior Immigration Officer, during his speech at the 2nd Ugandan Convention UK, explained that under the current constitution (1995), they are 4 types of citizens of Uganda:
Citizenship by birth.
a) every person born in Uganda one of whose parents or grandparents is or was a member of any of the indigenous communities existing and residing within the borders of Uganda as at the first day of February, 1926, and set out in the Third Schedule to this Constitution; and
b) every person born in or outside Uganda, one of whose parents or grandparents was at the time of birth of that person a citizen of Uganda by birth.
Foundings and adopting children.
a) A child of not more than five years of age found in Uganda, whose parents are not known, shall be presumed to be a citizen of Uganda by birth.
b) A child under the age of eighteen years neither of whose parents is a citizen of Uganda, who is adopted by a citizen of Uganda shall, on application, be registered as a citizen of Uganda.
Citizenship by registration
- Every person born in Uganda-
a) at the time of whose birth-
a) neither of his or her parents and none of his or her grandparents had diplomatic status in Uganda; and
b) neither of his or her parents and none of his or her grandparents was a refugee in Uganda; and
b) who has lived continuously in Uganda since the ninth day of October, 1962. shall, on application, be entitled to be registered as a citizen of Uganda-
- The following persons shall, upon application be registered as citizens of Uganda-
a) every person married to a Uganda citizen upon proof of a legal and subsisting marriage of three years or such other period prescribed by Parliament:
b) every person who has legally and voluntarily migrated to and has been living in Uganda for at least ten years or such other period prescribed by Parliament;
c) every person who, on the commencement of this Constitution, has lived in Uganda for at least twenty years.
- Paragraph (a) of clause (2) of this article applies also to a person who was
married to a citizen of Uganda who, but for his or her death, would have continued to be a citizen of Uganda under this Constitution.
- Where a person has been registered as a citizen of Uganda under paragraph (a) of clause (2)of this article and the marriage by virtue of which that person was registered is-
a) annulled or otherwise declared void by a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction; or
b) dissolved, that person shall, unless he or she renounces that citizenship, continue to be a citizen of Uganda.
Citizenship by naturalisation
Parliarment shall by law provide for the acquisition and loss of citizenship by naturalisation.
Mr. Alenyo explained that when Ugandans in the UK took UK citizenship, they ceased being Ugandan citizen. Holding a Ugandan and British passport does not make one a Ugandan unless he/she registers under article 15 activated by section 19 of the Uganda citizenship and immigration act.
Mr Alenyo explained the privileges of being a dual citizen:
- You have the right to vote
- You have the right to own land under the mailo land ownership. (holding mailo land as a Bristish subject is illegal under section 40 of the Land Act)
- Acquiring a national ID, which will be issued very soon
Mr Alenyo advised Ugandans in the Diaspora to lobby the Rt. Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, who was amongst the VIP delegates at the Convention, to waive the dual citizenship fee which seems to deter everyone to register.
Mr Alenyo said that those who registered for dual citizenship will have the privilege to pick their National Id cards from the High Commission. The national ID cards will be used to access services such as voting and to buy land as citizens, as well as to contest for elective offices.
Mr Alenyo listed the offices a dual citizen cannot hold:
- Vice President.
- Prime Minister.
- Cabinet Minister and other Ministers.
- The Inspector General and the Deputy Inspector General of Government.
- Technical Head of the Armed Forces.
- Technical Heads of Branches of the Armed Forces.
- Commanding Officers of Armed Forces Units of at least battalion strength.
- Officers responsible for heading departments responsible for records personnel and logistics in all branches of the Armed Forces.
- Inspector General of Police and Deputy Inspector General of Police.
- Heads and Deputy Heads of National Security and Intelligence Organisations, (ESO), ISO and CMI).
- Member of the National Citizenship and Immigration Board.