No place to call home for the Banyarwanda of Uganda

Published: 7/Sep/2023
Source: The Africa Report

By Musinguzi Blanshe

Uganda’s constitution recognises Banyarwanda as an official tribe, but people who take that identity face stringent scrutiny when getting IDs.

With the difficulties, many of them are opting to identify as other tribal groupings, which could lead to extinction of the group.

When John Ndagize’s Ugandan passport expired, he went to the immigration office to renew it, but his application was rejected.

“They said, no, you’re not supposed to get a passport because you’re not a Ugandan,” he said during an interview months ago.

When The Africa Report reached to him for an interview, he initially declined, saying the issue had become too sensitive. However, he later agreed to meet and greeted us in Kinyarwanda, a key trait that distinguishes the Banyarwanda from other tribes in Uganda.

Mathias Ssemanda’s mother was denied a passport after she told immigration officers during the application process that one of her parents had Banyarwanda lineage.

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Themes: Discrimination, Ethnic/Racial/Religious, ID Documents and Passports
Regions: Uganda
Year: 2023