23 November 2012

Uganda: Citizenship for Foreigners to Be Reviewed

President Yoweri Museveni has promised the Indian community that the period the Constitution mandates for one to have lived in Uganda before being considered for citizenship will be reviewed.

This follows a request by the Indian community that he hosted on Thursday at State House Entebbe. The Indians were celebrating the festival of lights called Diwali.

The Constitution stipulates that foreigners should have been in Uganda for 20 years to be eligible for consideration for citizenship and 10 years for one to apply for a permit of residency.

Rajni Taylor, a Buganda Kingdom minister, said Indians have lived here and made multi-billion shilling investments and, therefore, feel that 20 years is too much.

"I will work on that," Museveni said. He promised to host Diwali every year like he hosts other religious groups in the country on their holy days. The President warned against sectarianism based on religious, tribal and other things, saying they do not contribute to the country's economic development.

"Your religion is the way you look at your God. What I know is that when I make a telephone call to God, he answers my call. Even where you come from in India, your religious leaders should explain to you that what you worship is your private business," Museveni said, noting that sectarianism portrays ideological inadequacy.

The President said the difference between Africans, Asians and Europeans is that Africans keep their opinions to themselves and never want to impose their views on others.

Museveni asked the Indians to increase investments, especially in the value-addition industry, in order for Uganda to develop faster.

He asked them to work with Ugandans and help them transform just like China helped Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia to develop.

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