Victoria University don ceased to be a Ugandan

Tuesday September 14 2021
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Dr Lawrence Muganga, the vice chancellor of Victoria University. PHOTO / COURTESY

By Andrew Bagala

The Vice Chancellor of Victoria University, Dr Lawrence Muganga, who was arrested by operatives of Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence on allegations of espionage and later released on bond two weeks ago, ceased to be a Ugandan citizen after obtaining multiple citizenship, according to Uganda immigration authorities.

The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control spokesperson, Mr Jacob Siminyu, said Dr Muganga automatically lost his Ugandan citizenship after he obtained dual or multiple citizenship of other countries.

“He doesn’t have a certificate [from the Immigration Board] approving him to obtain citizenship elsewhere; therefore, he lost his Ugandan citizenship,” Mr Siminyu said yesterday on the side-lines of the security weekly press conference at Police Headquarters Naguru.

Two weeks ago, Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence operatives dressed in civilian clothes armed with guns raided the office of Dr Muganga and accosted his female police bodyguard, Barbra Nagudi, before arresting them. They were bundled into a private car and detained in ungazetted custody. He was later released.

While appearing on NTV talk show, On the Spot, last week, Dr Muganga said he has travel documents of three countries; Uganda, Rwanda, and Canada.

Dr Muganga was born in Masaka District and holds a national identity card.

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Mr Siminyu said any Ugandan, who obtains dual or multiple citizenship without getting a certificate of approval from Uganda, is considered to have made false declaration and automatically loses his Ugandan citizenship.

This has consequences of deportation to a country where the person came from.

Mr Siminyu said Dr Muganga being a foreigner in Uganda must acquire a work permit to operate or do any work.  

According to Section 19 (a) of Uganda Citizenship and Immigration Control (Amendment) Act 2009, a Ugandan citizen, who desires to acquire the citizenship of another country while retaining his or her citizenship of Uganda shall give notice in writing to the Uganda Immigration Board.

He or she must share with Uganda immigration officers a copy of the application for citizenship of that other country.

Failure to give a notice to the immigration board attracts a jail term of two years or a fine of Shs3m on conviction.

Mr Siminyu said Dr Muganga’s immigration case is still being handled by relevant authorities.

However, he said if a person, who obtained another citizenship without their approval reports himself or herself to them and seeks remedies, he or she may be helped without any sanctions.

Several Ugandans in the diaspora are in the same predicament. Many Ugandans obtained citizenship of the countries they reside in to be able to stay and work without fear of being deported, but they haven’t obtained approval from the Uganda government.  

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