Council for Banyarwanda wishes to thank all those who have contributed to the name change proposal for Ugandan Banyarwanda to rebrand to Abavandimwe.
In a space of less than 2 (two) weeks, you have made Abavandimwe a household brand. For that, we are most grateful.
That said, today (6th April 2021) a delegation of Council for Banyarwanda met Gen. JJ Odong (Honourable Minister for Internal Affairs) together with departmental heads of Immigration and NIRA that included Major General Kasita Gowa(Director, Citizenship & Immigration Control),Brig.General Kwiringira (ED NIRA),Mr.Siminyu Jacob (spokesperson,MIA) and other officials.
We held fruitful discussions about the challenges Banyarwanda face in applying for and processing travel documents.
We commend the Hon. Minister for acknowledging that there is a problem and a need to put in place remedial measures to address it.
In the agreed framework, both our team and that of the Hon Minister of Internal affairs, agreed to identify Banyarwanda elders in every district, to assist the passport control office to verify bonafide Uganda Banyarwanda passport applicants.
We further recommended that, the immigration officials be sensitized through workshops and seminars, so as to avoid taking arbitrary actions that are often prejudicial to the citizenship rights of Ugandan Banyarwanda.
We pointed the ministry officials to a fact that Ugandan Banyarwanda are usually fluent in local dialects spoken in the communities they hail from and so that should be used as a strong indicator for one to qualify for a passport or national ID. This was welcomed by the Hon.Minister and his team.
The Honourable Minister pledged to have an open door policy where we can easily and freely access him, to consult and find solutions and interventions, as and when need arises. For that, we are most grateful.
In conclusion, we call upon all bonafide Ugandan Banyarwanda whose citizenship rights have been violated or flouted in one way or another, either through denial of a passport or a national Identity card or arbitrary revocation of the same, when either one or both your parents are members of one of the indigenous communities enshrined in the 1995 constitution.