- Ugandan legislators have endorsed a bill paving the way for dual citizenship in the East Africa state, local media has reported. The new legislation, the 2008 Uganda Citizenship and Immigration Control Amendment Bill which only awaits the president's signature will however prohibit holders of dual citizenship from serving in key political and security offices.
According to a report presented by the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee endorsed by MPs, a number of Ugandans have lost their citizenship due to the country’s restrictive laws on dual citizenship, saying the bill will create an opportunity for those Ugandans to regain their citizenship.
"The legislation will also give citizenship to none-Ugandan nationals who are making enormous contribution to our nation, and would wish to attain Ugandan citizenship," the report stated.
The Bill which according to local news reports was a response to the public outcry for dual citizenship, will give both foreign and local nationals rights to Ugandan citizenship without having to renounce the other.
However, some MPs have expressed concern about the allegiance of persons holding dual citizenship when both countries are at conflict. They also criticised it for being too strict by denying dual citizenship holders from holding key positions in government.
The MPs have also expressed concern that Uganda would see an influx of citizenship-seeking foreigners, especially its neighbours who are troubled by incessant conflict and rebellion.
But the chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs, Mathias Kasamba, said despite some few shortcomings, parliament has done the necessary step of passing the law to enable non Diaspora Ugandans and other people who have made enormous contribution to the country attain Ugandan citizenship.
Uganda which was notorious for its human rights abuses, saw many of its citizen seeking refugee status in its neighbours and abroad, first during the military dictatorship of Idi Amin from 1971-79 and then after the return to power of Milton Obote, who had been ousted by Amin in the 1970s and 1980s.
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