Self-exiled novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija has petitioned the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) over what he calls a continued violation of the right to a passport of his children.
In his petition, Kakwenza, through his lawyers of Kiiza and Mugisha Advocates said that his three children (names withheld) aged 2,4 and 9 have been denied their constitutional right of owning a passport by immigration officials.
“The said children applied for passports as citizens of Uganda, paid for express passports processing, submitted all relevant information and attended necessary interviews in March, 2022,” Kakwenza’s lawyers said in their petition, attaching a copy of a previous complaint.
Kakwenza said that despite their lawyers and parents following up with immigration since March 2022, the officials have refused to grant the children their passports.
“This is contrary to Article 29 (2) (c) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995 and Section 39 of the Uganda Citizenship and Immigration Control Act, Cap 66 which guarantees the right of every Ugandan citizen a passport,” the lawyers quoted.
According to Kakwenza, no reason has been given for the delay in granting the passports to the children and they now want the UHRC to intervene in the matter so that the children get their passports.
Our efforts to get a comment from the immigration office over the delay were unsuccessful, as none of the officials were available to talk to us by press time.
Kakwenza is currently self-exiled in Germany where he fled shortly after being granted bail. He said that he escaped because of fear for his life in Uganda.
His sureties were made to pay after he escaped.