Uganda: Time to sort out the Maragoli issue
Source: The Monitor (Kampala)
The demand by the Maragoli to win cultural rights and identity in Uganda is in order
The demand by the Maragoli to win cultural rights and identity in Uganda is in order. But the demand must give us an opportunity to reflect and ask ourselves whether the framers of the 1995 Constitution did the right thing to make tribes the basis of definition of Ugandan citizenship. Since then, claims of citizenship on the basis of tribe have proven problematic, unlike the 1962, and 1967 Constitutions that defined citizenship on the basis of the date when Uganda, as an entity, came into existence. The previous constitutions also provided for other options upon which the Ugandan citizenship could be obtained by either decent, birth, naturalisation, or registration.
But the current reliance on the definition of citizenship on the basis of tribes listed in the Constitution has created some minority tribes that are not known to exist, for instance the Barundi.
Without doubt, the Maragoli deserve recognition of their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms. The group, mostly settled in Kiryandongo District, say they were not listed among Uganda’s indigenous communities in the 1995 Constitution. And their arguments qualify on the basis of tribes since they came to Uganda as early as 1903, and hundreds more having been born and were living in Uganda as of February 1, 1926, as required by Article 9, 10(a), and (b) of the 1995 Constitution.
Read full article on The Monitor website.