Wednesday, 16 October 2013

30,000 Ugandans face deportation from UK

Uganda High Commission officials; Innocent Opio (L) and  Frank Ochom (R) join the chairperson of Ugandans staying in UK Rehema Nnabukeera Kawooya to address a gathering
 Uganda High Commission officials; Innocent Opio (L) and Frank Ochom (R) join the chairperson of Ugandans staying in UK Rehema Nnabukeera Kawooya to address a gathering during celebrations to mark Uganda’s Independence anniversary in Manchester on Saturday. Mr Opio blamed the UK Home Office for failing to resolve immigration and asylum requests of Ugandans.

MANCHESTER- More than 30,000 Ugandans face deportation from the United Kingdom (UK) after failing to resolve their asylum and immigration requests, a report by the Home Affairs Committee of the House of Commons (UK Parliament) has revealed.
The report said the current backlog of 500,000 unresolved immigration and asylum cases will not be cleared for another 37 years at the current rate of progress. This condemns Ugandans to more anguish as they wait for their cases to be resolved. Uganda accounts for 30,000 of those cases.
However, the Uganda High Commission in the UK blames the Home Office for failing to expeditiously dispose of cases of Ugandans seeking asylum there.
Speaking at an event to mark Independence celebrations in the UK at the weekend, Mr Innocent Quinoscars Opio, the Second Secretary and In charge of Consular Services at the Uganda High Commission in UK, accused the Home Office of “incompetence” in handling immigration cases.
“We have always raised our concerns and engaged the UK Home Office both formally and informally about their incompetence in dealing with immigration matters especially those concerning Ugandans and other immigrants,” Mr Opio said.
He cited cases of Ugandans on whose behalf the UK Home Office has applied for temporary travel documents from the Uganda High Commission in UK, to facilitate their deportation back to Uganda. He said most of them are victims of unfair and poor handling of immigration cases.
“We also don’t always bow down to pressure especially when they send us applications to expel Ugandans from the UK who are victims of unfair and poor handling of immigration cases,” he added, explaining that this stance was a sign of Uganda’s independence from Britain.
Dual citizenship
The Uganda High Commission in UK also highlighted the issue of dual citizenship, saying that those Ugandans who acquire British citizenship automatically cease to be Ugandans. However, they can take advantage of the recently-passed dual citizenship law which requires them to re-apply for Ugandan citizenship after acquiring British passports.
The foreign office said it is only after re-application that the dual citizenship is regularised through a dual-citizenship certificate given at the end of the process.