Novelist and writer Kakwenza Rukirabashaija have faulted the passport office for violating the rights of his children to own passports.
The writer has since petitioned the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) to seek intervention and assistance regarding the matter.
In a petition filed by his lawyer Eron Kiiza on June 20th, 2022, the novelist says that his three children; 2 years old Rutakirwa Mugabe Kakwenza, 4years Siima Nyinaboona Kakwenza, and his 9-year-old daughter Nina Kayitesti Kakwenza applied for express passports, submitted all the relevant documents and attended the mandatory interviews in March 2022.
“Despite the children, their parents, and their lawyers religiously following up on the citizens’ application for passports since March, the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control has refused to grant the children of Kakwenza Rukirabashaija their passports contrary to Article 29 (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and Section 39 of the Uganda Citizenship and Immigration Control Act, Cap 66 which guarantees the right to every Ugandan citizen to a passport,” reads the letter in part.
Kakwenza further justifies that no reason has since the application date been given for the delay in granting the passports to the said children yet other Ugandan citizens continue getting their passports.
“This is to draw your attention to the human rights violations and injustice against the children and seek your immediate intervention to enable them to receive their passports and further their dreams without being marginalized,” further reads the letter.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs passport issuance procedures, Express passports are usually issued within a week, depending on the number of applicants.
However, Simon Mundeyi, the spokesperson of the Internal Affairs Ministry retaliated against Kakwenza’s claims also saying that he is not aware of any application by Kakwenza’s children and that if indeed they applied, they should avail all their application details to the immigration control office for follow-up.
“There is no way we can work on an application we don’t have. Whatever Kakwenza did, doesn’t affect the children, they are innocent. Even Kakwenza himself has a passport. If one is a Ugandan and hence qualifies for a passport, there is no way they can be denied one,” said Mundeyi.
Kakwenza earlier fled out of the country citing the need for urgent treatment which he said could not access in Uganda after he reportedly claimed that he had been tortured on orders of the first son Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba following his arrest on December 28, 2021, for allegedly through his social media handles abusing Muhoozi and his father, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.