Immigration finally calls exiled Kakwenza’s children to pick passports

Uganda's Internal Affairs scales down production of new passports by half
Spokesperson of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Simon Peter Mundeyi

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC) has denied allegations by lawyers representing Ugandan exiled novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija of refusing to issue passports to his three children.

The three children namely; Rutakirwa Mugabe Kakwenza 2-year-old, Siima Nyinaboona Kakwenza 4-year-old, and Nina Kayitesti Kakwenza 9-year-old, are said to have applied for passports on 15th February 2022 and did interviews on 10th March 2022.

On Monday 20, June 2022, the lawyers petitioned the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) accusing the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC) of refusing to issue passports to Kakwenza’s children, despite fulfilling the requisite requirements.

Exiled author Kakwenza narrates how he raised Shs 40m to save his sureties
Novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija

However, Mr Simon Mundeyi, the Internal Affairs publicist in an interview with the Kampala Dispatch he said: “We do not deny Ugandans passports. The qualification for passports here is citizenship, not any other. If they apply for passports, Kakwenza’s children should wait like other Ugandans do.”

Mr Mundeyi added that they have been clearing a backlog of 90,000 pending passport applications, and they are now working on the last backlog which includes the children of Kakwenza and their passports will be issued on Monday 27, June 2022.

“When Kakwenza’s children applied for passports, we were having a system upgrade,” he said.

Read Also: UHRC investigates denial of passports to novelist Kakwenza’s children

Kakwenza who is currently in Germany was arrested on December 28th, 2021 for allegedly abusing the First Son, Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni through his social media posts. He was reportedly tortured and fled the country after being released on bail, saying he needed urgent treatment, which he couldn’t access in Uganda.

'Tortured' Ugandan novelist Kakwenza flees into exile, says lawyer
Ugandan novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija displays scars on his back that he claims were inflicted while he was tortured for weeks in detention, at a house in Kampala, Uganda on Feb. 8, 2022

Ever since he left, Kakwenza has filed several petitions including one before the East African Court of Justice alleging human rights violations and the Judicial Service Commission where he accused Dr. Douglas Singiza, now an Acting High Court judge of exhibiting a level of unprofessionalism while handling his case at Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s court.